Former CTK standout commits to Illinois
by Bryan Fonseca
Jan 09, 2019 | 1170 views | 0 0 comments | 104 104 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KOFI COCKBURN (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong/BQE Media)
KOFI COCKBURN (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong/BQE Media)
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Five-star center and ESPN 100-ranked high school senior Kofi Cockburn, who played his first three seasons of high school basketball at Christ the King in Middle Village, has chosen to accept a basketball scholarship from the University of Illinois.

The near 7-foot big man and former Royal transferred from King to Oak Hill Academy this past summer, joining fellow Queens native and classmate Cole Anthony, who left Archbishop Molloy to attend Oak Hill prior to the 2018-19 season.

“I’m excited about joining the family,” said Cockburn. “No one has worked harder than Coach [Brad] Underwood and his staff. They have great fans and support.”

Cockburn also said that he’s aiming to return the Fighting Illini to their winning ways. The squad hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013 and are currently 4-10 this season, but were a perennial March Madness team last decade, even reaching the NCAA Championship game in 2005.

“I’m ready to compete as soon as I step on campus,” he added. “I’m looking forward to recruiting other players to come to Illinois with me. I can’t wait to play in the Big Ten and restore Illinois to what it once was.”

Cockburn was an All-Catholic League Third Team honoree as a sophomore and a First Team selection last season, leading the Royals in scoring and rebounding. The 2018 All-BQE First Team member was a key component in leading the Royals to the CHSAA Championship game in Fordham last spring.

“He’s a great kid and he’s humble,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello told BQE Media of Cockburn prior to his transfer. “Kofi wants to win. He wants to be great and he’s got good people around him.”
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