West Virginia basketball’s top target, Olivier Nkamhoua, has withdrawn his name from the 2023 NBA Draft and will return for his final year of collegiate eligibility.
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Moments ago, Olivier Nkamhoua, a talented transfer from Finland, has announced that he is withdrawing his name from the 2023 NBA Draft and will return to college basketball for one more season.
Nkamhoua, a 6’9 power forward, entered the transfer portal after four seasons with the Tennessee Volunteers. Nkamhoua averaged 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game for Tennessee this past season. This past weekend, he was in Morgantown on an official visit, where he toured the Mountaineers practice facility and met with Bob Huggins and his coaching staff. Nkamhoua was reportedly “very impressed” with the visit, but unfortunately did not yet commit before leaving town.
Instead, he set up a visit with Kansas State and is expected to visit Michigan this weekend. Baylor and Memphis are also reportedly interested and attempting to set up a visit with the talented forward.
Nkamhoua’s father lives in Cumberland, Maryland, which is approximately an hour from Morgantown, and Nkamhoua was seen hugging Bob Huggins in the parking lot of a local restaurant during his visit last weekend. In addition, West Virginia has found ways to compensate foreign-born players with NIL deals using methods that other schools have not yet been able to do. The Mountaineers landed Kerr Kriisa, who was born in Estonia, and Jesse Edwards, who was born in The Netherlands, reportedly paying both players more than their previous schools (Arizona and Syracuse, respectively) could pay them and perhaps they can work their same magic with the Finland-born Nkamhoua.
In other words, West Virginia put on the full-court press to land Nkamhoua, knowing he very well could be the missing piece that could eventually lead the Mountaineers to a Big 12 and national championship. Nkamhoua is not only a talented, experienced offensive player, he would also instantly be the team’s best defender should he decide to join.
NEWS: Olivier Nkamhoua is withdrawing from the 2023 NBA Draft, he told ESPN. The Tennessee transfer is one of the top players in the portal with Kansas State, Michigan, Baylor, Memphis, West Virginia and others in hot pursuit. pic.twitter.com/GeUBnrUwRs
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 31, 2023