With three CIF State championships under his belt at Chino Hills High and a successful freshman season at the University of Southern California, Chino resident Onyeka Okongwu declared for the NBA Draft Wednesday morning.

Touted as a lottery pick in the June 25 draft, Okongwu said it’s the right time to turn pro.

“I want to thank you for letting a kid from Chino into your program,” Okongwu posted on Twitter in a letter directed at USC. “However, all good things must come to an end. I want to take the next step when the opportunity presents itself. I appreciate everyone who has helped me get to this point.”

This season, Okongwu was named a Pac-12 Conference First Team and All-Freshman honoree for the 2019-20 men’s basketball season.

He averaged a team-best 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and led the Trojans in blocked shot with 76.

USC was scheduled to compete earlier this month in Pac-12 Conference Tournament at T-Mobile Arena, but the tournament was cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

Okongwu could be among three Chino Hills High players in the NBA next season from the Huskies’ 2015-16 team that finished 35-0 and won the school’s first state championship.

Lonzo Ball is in his third season in the NBA and LaMelo Ball is expected to also be a lottery pick in the June draft after a season in the National Basketball League in Australia.

Two other members from that team also have NBA aspirations.

LiAngelo Ball is with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s G-League team and Eli Scott will be a senior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.