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Bona coach excited about adding transfer Obokoh

St. Bonaventure’s men’s basketball team filled a big need at center with the addition of 6-foot-9 Syracuse University transfer Chinoso Obokoh, which was made official Wednesday.

“We are really happy that Chinonso has decided to join our program,” coach Mark Schmidt said. “He’s a high-caliber player from an ACC program who we think can really help us, especially with our interior defense and rebounding. He also is a very capable scorer from 15 feet and in. He’s a smart player who also can help mentor our young post players. It’s exciting to add a player of Chinonso’s ability.”

Obokoh, a native of Nigeria who played at Rochester’s Bishop Kearney High School, does not have to sit out a year because he graduated a year early from Syracuse. He has one year of eligibility left.

Obokoh barely played for Syracuse the past two years, appearing in only 11 games last year. Coming out of high school, Obokoh was rated the 19th best center in the country by ESPN. But Bona needs his big presence more than it needs a lot of points from him.

Bona graduated its star inside player in Dion Wright. The Bonnies return promising 6-8 sophomore Derrick Woods at the center spot. The other center on the roster is incoming freshman Amadi Ikpeze, a 6-10 Amherst High School product.

Obokoh’s addition gives Bona further encouragement that it will be re-loading, not rebuilding, despite the graduation of stars Marcus Posley and Wright. Bona has transfers Matt Mobley and Courtney Stockard coming eligible in the backcourt this season. (Stockard was injured last year.) Transfer David Andoh, a 6-7 forward, joins the front-court.

Obokoh played AAU basketball with current Bona forward Denzel Gregg, the Atlantic 10’s sixth-man of the year last season.

UB track set for MACs

Who’s the next Jonathan Jones for the University at Buffalo?

If there is a future NCAA track and field champion among the Bulls, the answer should start to unfold over the next three days.

The road to the NCAAs begins on Thursday with the opening day of the Mid-American Conference Championships in Toledo, Ohio.

UB senior Darien Johnson, the indoor 60-meter MAC champion, will try to add an outdoor title in the 100-meter dash to his trophy collection. He just missed qualifying for the NCAA Tournament last season while running as a member of the 4x100 relay. The meet begins with mostly field events Thursday although there are two running events, the men’s and women’s 10,000, on the docket as well as the decathlon and heptathon.

Silfer honored, Griffs fall

Canisius softball experienced the good and the bad Wednesday during the opening day of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference softball championships.

Junior Lindsey Silfer earned MAAC Player of the Year honors as the outfielder became the fifth Griff to ever capture the award. She led the MAAC with a .425 average, finished second in total bases and hits and third in slugging pct. She wasn’t the only Canisius player honored, as junior Jessica Berzins and freshman Lauren Castro each received All-MAAC Second Team.

The bad: The Griffs dropped a 2-0 decision to Quinnipiac to open the double-elimination tournament at Gartland Field in Poughkeepsie. The Bobcats scored two unearned runs late to put Canisius in a win-or-go-home position Thursday against a to-be-determined foe.