WILMINGTON,NC (UNCW Sports)–Transfer Mike Okauru has received legislative waiver relief from the NCAA, clearing the way for the University of Florida shooting guard to play for the UNCW men’s basketball team in 2019-20.
Okauru, a 6-3, 184-pound standout from Raleigh, was previously scheduled to sit out the upcoming campaign due to the NCAA’s one-year residence requirement. Now, he gives the Seahawks even more firepower as Head Coach C.B. McGrath retools the roster for his third season.
“We’re very excited for Mike to be immediately eligible,” said McGrath. “He wanted to be closer to home and have a chance to be a difference maker. He has that opportunity at UNCW and gives us more perimeter depth and scoring.
“Mike is a talented young man on and off the court. He has been a great teammate and very coachable in his two months as a Seahawk. Our fans will enjoy seeing him on the court these next two seasons.”
Okauru joined the Seahawks early in the summer after appearing in 69 games over the last two years in Gainesville following an outstanding prep career at Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School and Brewster Academy.
A four-star pick by ESPN and a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247sports out of high school, Okauru averaged 2.6 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists during his time with the Gators. He played 610 minutes in two years.
Okauru saw action in all but one game last season for the Gators and averaged 1.4 points and 0.6 rebounds. He enjoyed his best performance when he collected six points, one assist and one steal in the regular season finale at Kentucky. He also converted clutch three-pointers in wins against Arkansas, Georgia and Vanderbilt last season.
As a freshman in 2017-18, Okauru, who made his first career start vs. No. 12 Auburn, scored 13 points in his collegiate debut and later added 15 points vs. Stanford in the PK80 Tournament. He wound up playing 10+ minutes in 10 of Florida’s final 12 contests and shot 40.4 percent from long distance.
During his senior year of high school in 2016-17, Okauru powered Brewster to a 33-0 record and a national title. He was rated as the No. 260 overall player in the country in the 2017 recruiting class by 247Composite, an industry-generated recruiting ranking. He was also tabbed the No. 54 point guard in the country and the No. 8 overall ranked player in the state of North Carolina.