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Chris Obekpa has change of heart, will return to St. John's

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Earlier this month, St. John's was dealt a tough blow when sophomore center Chris Obekpa requested a release from the Red Storm in order to transfer elsewhere.

After a couple weeks of back-and-forth, though, Obekpa decided to return to St. John's for his junior campaign.

“I've had good conversations with Coach Lavin over the past week. After giving consideration to transferring it's become clear that it makes the most sense to continue my career as a student-athlete at St. John's,” Obekpa said in a statement. “I will do whatever is necessary to win back the trust of my coaches, teammates and our fans. My brothers and I have unfinished business and I am determined to help St. John's continue the climb up the mountain.”

Obekpa's numbers took a dip across the board this season, and he played just 13 total minutes in the Big East tournament and NIT. Several schools reached out to inquire about Obekpa after he received his release, but after meeting with coach Steve Lavin last week, he felt the Red Storm were the best option.

“Chris approached me last week to communicate his change of heart and wishes to stay at St. John's. After good dialogue we are pleased to announce Chris will continue his career as a student-athlete with the Red Storm,” said Lavin.

Obekpa, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, is one of the premier shot-blockers in the country. He averaged 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks this season.

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