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4-star 2024 center Emmanuel Stephen includes Arizona in final five

emmanuel-stephen-arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-recruiting-2024-final-five Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the top in-state men’s basketball prospects in the class of 2024 has the Arizona Wildcats in his final five schools.

Emmanuel Stephen, a 4-star center for Dream City Christian, announced he is down to Arizona, USC, Miami, Michigan and Kansas.

Arizona offered the 7-foot, 215-pound big man last month.

Stephen is ranked the No. 85 prospect in the class according to 247Sports, as well as the No. 15 center and No. 4 prospect in Arizona. Originally from Nigeria, Stephen would follow in the footsteps of African centers Christian Koloko and Oumar Ballo.

“I like Arizona because Tommy Lloyd plays his bigs,” he told On3. “I like the school culture and they take basketball seriously. Tommy Lloyd likes international players, and I’m an international since I’m from Nigeria.”

Stephen plans to take an official visit to Arizona on September 28, he told On3. He also has a planned official visit to Kansas, which like Arizona has had success of developing African centers (Joel Embiid, Udoka Azubuike).

ASU was the first school to offer Stephen back in May but the Sun Devils did not make the cut.

On3 named Stephen as a breakout player at Peach Jam this summer.

“There is something to be said about a brute force of nature who protects the paint and keeps errant shots away from the rim. Emmanuel Stephen is a ferocious rebounder and has excellent natural timing around the basket,” On3’s Jamie Shaw wrote.

“Stephen’s offense is relegated around the basket, providing vertical spacing in the dunker spot, as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, and creating his own offense on the offensive glass. He is also a natural rim protector. He has a strong frame with great length, but a lot of his rim protection comes from his high motor and the relentless nature he pursues the ball. Stephen finished with ten or more rebounds in three of his five games, and he finished with four or more blocked shots, also in three of his five P.I.T. games.”