Ohio State Center Felix Okpara Reportedly Enters Transfer Portal After Two Seasons With Buckeyes

By April 21, 2024 (10:48 am)Basketball

Ohio State suffered a significant loss to its 2024-25 roster on Sunday as junior center Felix Okpara has reportedly entered the transfer portal after two seasons with the Buckeyes. 

Okpara, who has two seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining, initially announced earlier this month that he was committed to the now Jake Diebler-led program for the upcoming season, where he would have likely been the team’s starting center for the second consecutive year alongside incoming Kentucky transfer center Aaron Bradshaw, who committed to the Buckeyes on April 15. 

“I am excited and grateful to announce I am 100% committed to running it back with OSU and Buckeye Nation,” Okpara wrote on April 1. “Can’t wait to start a new chapter with Coach Diebs, my returning teammates, and the new staff and players to get Ohio State back to our rightful spot at the top of the Big Ten.” 

But that potentially formidable frontcourt duo of the 7-foot-1 Bradshaw and Okpara will no longer happen, according to multiple reports. 

Okpara, a Lagos, Nigeria, native entered the then Chris Holtmann-led program in 2022 as a four-star freshman out of Branson (Mo.) Link Academy. After a slow start to his freshman campaign, he hit his stride for the Buckeyes when he was inserted into the starting lineup following Zed Key’s season-ending shoulder surgery that February, where he averaged 9.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks across the final six games of the 2022-23 season

He then carried that momentum into the 2023-24 campaign, starting 34 of 35 games for the Buckeyes and averaging 6.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and a team-leading 2.4 blocks per game, a mark that also ranked second in the Big Ten behind former Rutgers center Cliff Omoruyi. 

Okpara also leaves with a school-record 43-game block streak, a mark that he set during Ohio State’s NIT second round win over Virginia Tech on March 23. 

Okpara is the fifth player to transfer from Ohio State this offseason, joining guards Roddy Gayle Jr., Scotty Middleton and Bowen Hardman along with the forward Key. With Okpara no longer on the roster, Ohio State’s frontcourt is now currently led by the aforementioned Bradshaw along with promising sophomore forward Devin Royal and sophomore center Austin Parks. Redshirt junior forward Kalen Etzler is also on the roster. 

The Buckeyes also have two roster spots remaining following his departure, which they will likely now use to add more frontcourt depth alongside probable starters Bradshaw and Royal.

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