Ude Ifeanyichukwu is a 6'9 Center that is currently playing for Laramie Junior College in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The big man made a connection through Coach Donnie Tyndall and his staff, and they remained the front runners with him throughout the process. A visit to Hattiesburg was all that was needed to seal the deal.
"This is my second year playing for the Junior College I am attending now," Ude said in an interview with GoldenEaglePride.com.
"I went to a camp in St. Louis, and they coaching staff of Coach Tyndall was there and they saw me. From day one, they have really been on top of it. They have worked so hard to recruit me.
"The assistant Coach and Coach Tyndall have been so nice to me, and when I visited down there I blended right there with them. I can't wait to join that team and join with the Eagle family."
Ude said there so many factors that led him to become an Eagle, but mostly it was the way he overwhelmingly felt wanted by the coaches and team.
"This entire team brought me in," he said. "I don't have any family here, I am from Nigeria. The Coaching staff said they would be my family and would take care of me while I was here.
"Coach Tyndall is such a nice man, he really brought me in. He wants me to achieve my goal of playing in the NBA one day. He wants to teach me the game, and I want to get the Golden Eagles to the sweet 16."
Ude said that he is so excited to be under the coaching of Coach Tyndall and staff because he knows what he could be. It was obvious in our short conversation that he is the type of player any coach would love to have.
"This is my 5th year playing basketball overall," he said. "I am 6'9, 235lbs., and I want to play professional basketball.
"The coaches told me that I can run the floor effectively, I can block shots, finish around the rim and I can rebound the basketball. I have worked hard on my free throws and they really have gotten better.
"There are so many good players who played in the NBA by being great defensive players, and I believe what Coach Tyndall can do is get me there as well. I am ready to work for it, I am not scared, and I know it will be hard but I am ready."
He shares a common goal with Coach Tyndall.
"He's a coach that has passion, wants to win, and he likes to squeeze out the best in his players," he said. "I am up for it, I am ready to get there."
Hattiesburg will be a welcome site for Ude who feels like he has found a permanent home.
"Southern Mississippi is awesome, the weather is phenomenal," he said. "I can't wait to get out of the snow and cold.
"Also, I talked with the AD and was so impressed with the way he came back after serving in the military for so many years. He came back, and is serving the school. He said they would take care of me and would care for me after I graduated. They don't just push players away when they are done, I will be a part of the Golden Eagle family for life."
Ude said he hopes to settle down in Hattiesburg and make it his home. He'll join what is starting out to be a very exciting class of 2013 for Southern Miss. Brandon Goodwin has already committed, and they became friends over the weekend visit.
We'll keep up with Ude as he prepares to come down to Hattiesburg, keep it locked here on GoldenEaglePride.com.