Clemson’s coaching staff was in attendance at Philly High School Live.
Philly Live I, is an annual showcase event for high school and AAU teams during the live recruiting period.
The Tigers officially offered Washington (Pa.) First Love Christian 2022 forward Fray Nguimbi after seeing his performance in person this past weekend.
Nguimbi caught up with The Clemson Insider after receiving an offer from Clemson.
“I was excited and I was surprised that they contacted my coach and contacted me,” he said.
Nguimbi (6-8, 200) is a big-time power forward, who reigns from Congo. This summer, he’s playing with the NJ Scholars Elite EYBL, looking to make his mark on the recruiting trail before his senior season.
Nguimbi hadn’t spoken to Clemson until Tigers assistant coach Kareem Richardson texted him after Saturday’s game.
Richardson, a 24-year collegiate coaching veteran, joined Clemson’s coaching staff back in April. He spent his previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana State, before that stint, Richardson was the head coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2013-19.
He was in attendance to see Nguimbi on Saturday. He liked what he saw from him and subsequently offered him afterward.
Richardson told Nguimbi that they specifically watched him. They also told him that he’s the kind of player they need on their team. Nguimbi can guard 1-5, shoot the ball and do everything on the court. Richardson also mentioned how much he loved Nguimbi’s energy, he added.
“The work that I’m putting in is paying off,” Nguimbi said of his reaction to receiving an offer from Clemson. “This really pushed me hard to go hard again and go hard all the time. Because last year, we didn’t play. The coaches couldn’t come and watch us play.
Nguimbi has been on a lot of team’s radars, but it was more so because of his work at the defensive end. He wasn’t much of a shooter or a ball-handler, but over the course of the pandemic, he spent a lot of time in the gym, perfecting that part of his game.
“I was just working on my game and getting better because, in my freshman and sophomore year, I couldn’t really shoot the ball that much,” he said, “I couldn’t really handle. I was just working on that and it just got better.”
Over the course of three games, Nguimbi tallied 43 points and 27 rebounds. His best performance came in the second game, where he scored 19 points and hauled in nine rebounds. Nguimbi also recorded a double-double with 10 a piece in his final game of Saturday’s event.
“Most of the coaches didn’t see me play in person, they watched videos and stuff,” Nguimbi said. “The videos are not a game. Most of the coaches didn’t know that I can shoot, that I can dribble, I can guard 1-5. Some of the coaches didn’t know that, so this [past] weekend really helped me to put my name out there.”
Nguimbi said that he spoke with Richardson about taking an official visit in September.
“I’m excited to come down there because people have been telling me that Clemson is really a good environment. They have a big football team. I really want to come down there and see what’s going on down at Clemson.”
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