NCAA grants Kerwin Okoro transfer
It looks like Kerwin Okoro will be coming to Rutgers after all – thanks to a nudge from one of college basketball’s influential figures.
Okoro, who was seeking a transfer from Iowa State to Rutgers to be closer with his family, apparently got an assist from Dick Vitale after the NCAA initially rejected the request.
Well, not after Dicky V got involved, baby. Okoro gave him a shout out on Twitter.
I'd also like to give a shout out to the great @DickieV for his voice on my waiver ! Truly honored and it is heavily appreciated !— Nkereuwem Okoro (@The_KO_Campaign) September 13, 2013
“It was common sense,” Vitale told the NY Post. “I’m so happy the NCAA saw that. It was a no-brainer. I just did what I thought was right. I’d do it for any kid."
Vitale took to Twitter himself after Okoro was rejected, calling for NCAA president Mark Emmert to reconsider.
“I would like to thank the NCAA for granting me a waiver,” Okoro said in a statement released by Rutgers. “I am very humbled by all the support I have received throughout the process, both from my basketball families at Rutgers and Iowa State. I look forward to working with my teammates and coaches to have a successful season. I feel very fortunate to be at Rutgers and close to my family. I can’t wait to play ball.”
Okoro’s hardships have been well-chronicled. His 72-year-old father, Stanislaus, died in December of a stroke.
Two months later, his brother Idiongo died of colon cancer at age 28. Wanting to be close to his mother Eno and brother Freddie, Kerwin Okoro sought the transfer.
“There are so many people to thank in regards to this important decision,” Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan said. “I am very grateful to the NCAA staff and subcommittee, our department of compliance, Iowa State University and our coaching staff for all of their support and hard work. Not only is Kerwin a fine basketball player, he’s an exceptional young man. We look forward to his contributions at Rutgers, both on and off the court.”