Aidan Igiehon put some flair into his college announcement.
Sitting behind a table on the stage of the auditorium at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, he laid out four baseball caps that represented his four finalists — Kentucky, Oregon, Louisville and St. John’s.
After saying “It’s time to make the announcement,” he stood up, plucked the Louisville cap off the table, put it on and opened his suit jacket to reveal a custom-made lining emblazoned with all things Louisville.
“I think it’s one of a kind,” he said with a smile.
The 6-10, 230-pound power forward from Ireland was a Newsday All-Long Island selection a year ago after averaging 18 points and 15 rebounds to help the Tigers win the NYSAIS Class B championship.
He first came to the United States with an Irish youth basketball club for a tournament and it was then he became convinced that “to fulfill my potential,” he should play here. He returned to Dublin to get a student visa and moved.
He was just 14, 6-5 and rail thin when he moved in with an aunt and uncle, Solomon and Zenobia Edore of Brooklyn, and enrolled at LWA. They flanked him while making the announcement as his mother watched via FaceTime.
Igiehon had taken an official campus visit to Oregon and made one to Louisville in the final week of September. He canceled a visit to St. John’s that was scheduled for the following weekend. By the time the visit with the Cardinals was over, his mind was made up.
“A lot goes into a visit. Once you find a school that feels like the best fit, why keep looking?” he said. “St. John’s is an amazing school and they started recruiting me in ninth grade. But I felt at home at Louisville.”
Igiehon also was bowled over by first-year coach Chris Mack and the substantial track record he had at Xavier.
“He was at Xavier and turned what was, to me, a mediocre program into one of the top 10 in the country who always competed in the NCAA Tournament,” Igiehon said. “Given the opportunity now that he’s in a blue blood school, he’ll now get more talented guys. Imagine what he’ll do then.”
“He’s also very good at what he does in developing players,” Igiehon added. “I’ve only been playing basketball for four or five years now, so I still have a lot to learn. I want to be around a knowledgeable coach and soak it all up.”
He becomes part of a stellar recruiting class for Mack at Louisville. The Cardinals already have commitments from points guard Josh Nickelberry, small forward Jaelyn Withers, shooting guard Samuell Williamson and combo guard David Johnson. Igiehon thought that a power forward was something the team needed.
“It’s one thing to be wanted, but it’s another to be needed,” he said. “I felt like Louisville had a gaping hole at my position and I can make an immediate impact.”