PROVO — BYU’s basketball program has officially added a junior college transfer who hails from Nigeria.
Coach Mark Pope announced Thursday that Gideon George, a 6-foot-6 forward that competed at New Mexico Junior College the past two seasons, has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Cougars.
“Gideon is one of the most genuine, sincere, dedicated, hardworking athletes that I’ve ever had the opportunity to recruit,” Pope said in a statement. “Growing up in Nigeria, he learned a work ethic and lives with a level of gratitude that is inspiring. He is an extraordinarily gifted athlete, a great teammate and we have high expectations for his growth and what he’ll contribute here at BYU. He’s going to be a fan favorite.”
George, who is from Minna, Nigeria, was named to the 2019-20 NJCAA All-Region V Team and the All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference Team and helped lead the Thunderbirds to a 23-9 record overall and 12-4 in league play last season.
George averaged 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals as a sophomore. He also shot 50.8% from the floor and 36.1% from 3-point range. He averaged 3.0 offensive rebounds per game.
In 2018-19, George earned WJCAC Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and shooting 59% from the field.
He and his brother, Samson, who played at Pittsburgh from 2017-20, sent more than 100 pairs of shoes to Nigeria through the organization Time Out 4 Africa Foundation.
Other signees as part of BYU’s 2019-20 recruiting class also includes Dallin Hall, a guard out of Fremont High that signed Wednesday, as well as guards Spencer Johnson and Richie Saunders, who signed last November.