Nigerian to join Camden Catholic basketball squad

Demola Onifade
Demola Onifade
Posted: April 16, 2013

In a development that could have a major impact on the South Jersey basketball scene over the next two seasons, a 6-foot-10 transfer student from Nigeria has enrolled at Camden Catholic High School.

Demola Onifade, 16, is a sophomore at Camden Catholic. He is living at the school's Nazareth House, an on-campus residence that is home to approximately 35 international students.

Onifade's trip to this country was arranged by officials with YIS Team Speed, an AAU program that features several top South Jersey players. Onifade arrived from Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday.

Team Speed coach Rob DePersia, a local attorney whose twin sons, Rob and Nick, are sophomores at Haddonfield, said Onifade could develop into one of the best high school players in the nation once he gets acclimated to this country and improves his strength and conditioning.

"He can jump out of the building," said Eastern junior Matt Klinewski, a player for Team Speed.

Onifade practiced with Team Speed on Sunday night at Camden Catholic. He showed good running and jumping ability and appeared to be an accomplished shot-blocker with raw offensive skills.

Team Speed, which will compete at the under-17 level at a tournament next weekend in Pittsburgh, features such South Jersey players as the DePersia twins, Klinewski, Cherry Hill West's Rodney Williams and Paulsboro's Theo Holloway, among other athletes.

DePersia said Onifade will play for Camden Catholic as a junior and senior.

His presence could make the Irish one of the top teams in South Jersey next season as well as a state contender in Non-Public A.

Camden Catholic is projected to return three starters from last year's 20-8 team: junior guards Rob Brosh and Tom Organ and sophomore forward Brendan Crawford.


Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

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