The changing of the guard is complete at UAA.
A day after announcing the departure of sophomore guard Travis Adams because of a chronic back condition, the Seawolves announced the addition of junior guard DeAndre Osuigwe.
Osuigwe, a 6-foot combo guard from Bradenton, Florida, will be a junior. He played for a Division II team as a freshman — Nyack College of New York — and a junior college as a sophomore — State College of Florida.
He put up solid numbers at both schools, and UAA coach Rusty Osborne feels fortunate to have landed him so late in the offseason.
Osborne said the Seawolves learned Adams was leaving the team Wednesday of last week. They learned about Osuigwe the next day.
“We did not know him until we contacted coaches we knew around the country the day after Travis told us he had to step away,” Osborne said by text. “We would not have signed another guard if Travis was able to play.”
Scoring an assist on the late acquisition was UAA assistant coach Ryan Orton, who has a good working relationship with State College coach Tom Parks, Osborne said. Because both Orton and Osuigwe trust Parks, everything came together quickly, he said.
Osuigwe will be UAA’s fifth player from Florida and the first since Jake Carlisle of Jacksonville in 1996-97. To get an idea of how rarely the Seawolves recruit in Florida, consider that more than twice as many players have come to UAA from Australia than from Florida.
Osuigwe was a high school star at IMG Academy, a prestigious school in Bradenton. As a senior, he averaged 8 points, 4 assists and 3 steals per game to help IMG to a 27-2 record. The team ranked 11th that season in USA Today’s final national rankings.
“DeAndre is from a high-achieving family,” Osborne said. “His younger sister Whitney is the top-ranked junior tennis player in the U.S. (and) won the French Open Junior title last year. Dad is a former professional tennis player and is a coach at IMG Academy.”