The already powerful Norcross boys basketball team got a little stronger on Wednesday when Wesleyan sophomore standout Al-Farouq Aminu enrolled at
Aminu, a 6-foot-8, 210-pounder and the brother of 6-10 Georgia Tech freshman Alade Aminu, withdrew from Wesleyan on Wednesday morning and enrolled at Norcross later in the day, according to Norcross athletic director Mike Emery. Emery said Aminu begins classes today at his new school, which is just across Spalding Drive from his old one.
Emery faxed eligibility paperwork to the Georgia High School Association on Wednesday evening. Aminu's transfer gives Norcross its fifth high-profile basketball move-in in less than two years.
"When (Aminu's) mother approached me about the possibility (of a transfer to Norcross), I called the Georgia High School Association to ask about that because of our previous experience with (Greater Atlanta Christian transfer) Jordan DeMercy (who wasn't granted eligibility)," Emery said. "They explained to me that (Aminu) would be eligible based on that he moved into our district."
The transfer to Norcross is the latest in an odd series of school switches by Aminu. He averaged 11.9 points and 9.7 rebounds as a freshman at Wesleyan, but he left the private school briefly and enrolled at Stephenson. He then returned to Wesleyan, but by enrolling at Stephenson he lost his eligibility at Wesleyan.
A hardship appeal was filed on Aminu's behalf by Wesleyan and the result was that Aminu would be eligible with the Wolves when he moved into Gwinnett County, according to Wesleyan boys head coach Bill Bufton. Emery said that Aminu and his mother, Anjirlic, were locked into a lease on their previous home until Nov. 30 and that they signed a new lease on a Norcross residence, effective today.
Bufton said he heard rumors early in the week that Aminu might be leaving, but didn't get confirmation until the sophomore withdrew on Wednesday. Up until that point, he assumed the family was moving into Gwinnett so the forward could be eligible at Wesleyan.
"We did everything for that kid within the rules to keep him here and they have chosen to do something else," Bufton said. "We enjoyed working with him here. My only regret is we didn't get to do it for a longer period of time."
Norcross, state runner-up in Class AAAAA last season, is 4-0 with four blowouts. The Blue Devils, ranked second in the state, already feature a talented group of Division I signees in Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) and Brenton Butler (Fordham) and two more Division I prospects in juniors Gani Lawal and Tony Neysmith. Meeks, Neysmith and Lawal all moved into the Norcross district and Daniel Emerson, a senior on the 2004-2005 team, moved in midway through his junior season.