Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Odia is cleared to join Muskies

By Dustin Dow
Enquirer staff writer

Churchill Odia's certification issues have been resolved, and Odia will be eligible to play basketball this season for Xavier.

XU coach Sean Miller said Tuesday that Odia, a 6-foot-6 Nigerian point guard, has been approved by the NCAA clearinghouse.

Odia's student-visa status is also in order, according to a source, ending a year-and-a-half visa reclassification process.

Xavier officials, including Miller, declined to comment on Odia's visa case, citing student privacy laws.

Odia is the fourth member of Xavier's incoming recruiting class, joining Dupree Lucas, Moeller graduate Josh Duncan and Stanley Burrell, making this arguably Xavier's best overall recruiting class in history. All of recruits have been approved by the clearinghouse, which evaluates high school transcripts of incoming players.

Odia's situation took longer because of his outstanding visa issues and because transcripts of foreign students generally receive more inspection.

Odia, who began taking classes at Xavier Monday, has been on campus since late last week.

Recruiting services regard Odia as the best of the incoming group, as indicated by his No. 27 ranking in the senior class of 2004 by HoopScoop's Clark Francis.

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