Top Target: 7’1" C Solomon Alabi

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Montverde Academy (FL) center Solomon Alabi has drawn heavy interest from some top Division 1 programs, and Virginia is included among this group. Head coach Dave Leitao has extended a written offer to the 7-1 Nigerian native and he and his staff continue to be in heavy pursuit and are in contention to land an official visit this fall.

“Coach Dave Leitao, coach Rob Lanier as well as coach Steve Seymour have all been down here and put in the time,” Montverde head coach Kevin Sutton said. “They’ve done a tremendous job of recruiting him the way I’d like for recruiting to be done. They have done a good job connecting with Solomon, presenting Virginia and what future they have to offer him. They have done a great job recruiting him and thus you see their name on the list.”

UVa, a school Alabi has never visited, has some competition.

“The schools that have recruited him the hardest – and in no particular order – are Florida State, St. Joseph’s, Virginia, Arizona, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio State,” Sutton said. “He has offers from Florida State, Virginia, St. Joe’s and Ohio State.”

Alabi is currently back home in Nigeria, playing for the junior national team. Once he returns, he will decide where he wants to make his official visits.

“He’ll make an early decision, but he won’t make a decision before the end of the summer,” Sutton said. “He’ll make a decision after taking visits. It’s my philosophy that our kids visit at least two schools. After that, we’ll sit down and evaluate the situation and determine where Solomon fits in best with his basketball career as well as a person. Once he gets back, we’ll sit down and assess which schools he has the most interest in and which schools he’ll visit.”

Alabi moved to the United States last summer, which is when he enrolled at Montverde. In what was his junior season, he shot 61 percent from the field. He averaged a modest 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, but coach Sutton acknowledged that Alabi didn’t have to be the star of the team – something Sutton feels has really helped Alabi’s development.

“He’s gained a tremendous amount of confidence because he wasn’t rushed into being the ‘man’ on our team,” Sutton said.

“Right now, he is a very,