The saga around Churchill Abass coming to the University of Louisville basketball program can finally come to a close as 247Sports’ Travis Branham announced that the NBA Academy Africa product has committed to Head Coach Tony Stubblefield at DePaul University.
Standing over 6-foot-5 and nearly 250 pounds, Churchill Abass had been linked to the Louisville basketball program since his fellow NBA Academy Africa product, Emmanuel Okorafor, committed to the Cardinals in January of this year. Emmanuel Okorafor joined the team mid-season, providing an immediate spark off the bench that Louisville was severely missing.
Soon after, rumors began to circulate that Kenny Payne was in contact with another NBA Academy Africa product. With Churchill having a close friendship with Okorafor, it made sense that the mysterious man was unveiled to be Churchill Abass.
Kenny Payne is known for moving in silence and he even managed to leave the country without the Louisville fanbase knowing where he went. It wasn’t until Rick Bozich of WDRB revealed that Payne was in Senegal for the NBA Academy Showcase. And with the attendance of Churchill Abass at the showcase, it was assumed that the dominant big man was the sole reason for his cross-continental trip.
However, upon his return to the States, nothing ever materialized between Churchill Abass and the University of Louisville. A close friend of Emmanuel Okorafor and months of rumors were not enough to land him in a Cardinal jersey.
Now, he will suit up for Tony Stubblefield and the Blue Demons at DePaul University. With the number of available scholarships left available for Louisville, it seemed highly unlikely that he would come to the Cardinals, yet not impossible because Kenny Payne was one of only two Head Coaches to fly to Senegal for the showcase. The other was DePaul’s Tony Stubblefield.
A Louisville visit was heavily anticipated, but the two sides never communicated. This opened the door for Tony Stubblefield to bring Abass over to the United States for an official visit, which ultimately led to his commitment to the Blue Demons.
It will be exciting to watch what he can do at the Division I level, but the Louisville fanbase and the national college basketball following won’t see him in a red jersey, but rather in a blue and black jersey.