While there is no time like the present, part of Oregon basketball’s future is also in Sacramento.
FOX 12’s Nick Krupke checked in on one of the top high school talents who has committed to enroll at the University of Oregon in the fall.
The back-to-back Pac-12 champion Ducks are led by a triumvirate of Canadians: Dillon Brooks, Dylan Ennis and Chris Boucher.
“Basketball is growing in Canada,” said Brooks. “They love basketball and they love watching and supporting.”
The next Canadian import ticketed for Eugene brought us to Sacramento’s Capital Christian School. 18-year-old Abu Kigab will be the latest Duck to don green and yellow from our neighbors to the north.
“They set the bar pretty high so I want to set it higher,” said Kigab.
The 6-foot-7, four-star Duck commit was playing Saturday night in the “Cali vs. Canada showdown,” matching the top Canadian team, Orangeville Prep, with Kigab’s select club, Prolific Prep out of Napa.
“It’s the competitiveness,” Kigab said. “I am a competitor. I want to compete.”
The all-star game was moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sacramento’s Capital Christian School, because some of the young men are from Muslim countries, including Kigab who was born in Sudan.
“Khartoum, Sudan. The capital,” he said.
There was trepidation to leave the country and possibly risk re-entry due to the recent travel ban.
“They really care about me so they didn’t want to take any chances and have me stuck in Canada,” said Kigab.
While Sudan is on the immigration policy list, South Sudan, where Abu was born, is not.
“We just didn’t know what the policy was going to be and we didn’t want to chance it,” said Billy McKnight, Prolific Prep head coach.
Prolific Prep is coached by McKnight, a graduate manager at Oregon from 2003 to ‘05 under Ernie Kent.
“We put them at the top private schools in Napa, except they don’t play for the school team, they come and play for us afterwards,” said McKnight. “We’re an independent team. We travel the country, play the best teams out there.”
Kigab moved from Sudan to Ontario at the age of nine.
“For a better life. In Sudan there is not as much opportunity as there is in Canada and my dad always wanted the best for us,” he said.
Kigab left his parents and three siblings behind two years ago, packing up and moving out to Sacramento by himself to chase his American dreams.
“You’ve just got to trust the process. Like Joel Embiid. It’s simple,” Kigab said.
McKnight said, “Knowing Dana and knowing Oregon, I think he is a perfect fit for them.”
How far does Kigab think the Ducks will fly in the big dance? All the way – just trust the process.
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