Head coach Steve Lavin of the St. John's Red Storm...

Head coach Steve Lavin of the St. John's Red Storm reacts against the Texas A&M Aggies during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden. (Nov. 18, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

St. John's coach Steve Lavin is practially salivating at the idea of having Our Savior New American shot-blocking whiz Chris Obekpa roaming the paint for the Red Storm this winter.

The 6-9, 220-pound defensive terror became an official member of the Red Storm on Thursday after signing his NLI.  

Said Lavin: “Chris is one of the more unique talents I have recruited in my coaching career. His stellar shot blocking abilities are as exceptional as any I've seen at this particular stage of a player’s development. Chris brings a game-changing defensive presence and competitive spirit that will give us an edge."

Obekpa averaged 12.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 9.0 blocks per game as a senior was was named a first team All-American by the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA).

OSNA finished the 2011-2012 season 25-5 against a national schedule.

Obekpa joins a star-studded recruiting class, which includes guards Felix Balamou, Marco Bourgault, Jamal Branch and Max Hooper and forwards JaKarr Sampson and Orlando Sanchez.

Obekpa also brings some much needed size to the roster. St. John's struggled in the paint last season. Obekpa is expected to bring a strong defensive presence next to senior God's Gift Achiuwa.

“Chris Obekpa is an athletic and versatile frontcourt player who has a unique gift to be able to change the game from a defensive standpoint. St John's is getting one of the premier interior defenders in the country who will fit in perfect with their attacking defensive style,” said Eric Jaklitsch, OSNA assistant coach. “Chris' offensive game is a lot better than he has been given credit for, as he looks to set up teammates and let the game come to him.”

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