Alade excited to achieve OU dream

OU preferred walk-on Bola Alade

Other schools might have come calling late in the process, but Bola Alade knew he felt at home with the Sooners.

Injuries can change things in recruiting in a hurry, and it's something Plano (Texas) John Paul II shooting guard Bola Alade had to learn the hard way.

Oklahoma first took notice of Alade in his sophomore year as assistant Chris Crutchfield saw there was some potential. Alade even made an unofficial visit and loved what he saw from Norman.

But then the injuries came and the opportunities didn't. A broken wrist and a broken foot took him out of the picture in terms of top-tier offers.

The Sooners don't have any full scholarships to offer, but after discussing it over with his father, he decided it wasn't a bad idea to accept a preferred walk-on spot with the Sooners.

"I love the coaching staff and the facilities," Alade said. "I fell in love with OU from the first time I came there. We went up there Monday and sat down with the coaches and let them know."

Alade tweeted it out Monday with a picture of him and OU coach Lon Kruger. And just like that the Sooners added a 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard in the fold.

How long Alade can stay as a walk-on without a scholarship remains to be seen, but he's not regretting his decision at all to come be a part of the Sooners.

Healthy this season, Alade averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game. He believes the injuries have made him mentally tougher and also forced him to expand his game. He said he's a much better player than what the staff first saw as a sophomore.

"I know how to score the ball and bring a lot of versatility," Alade said. "I can attack the rim or handle the ball and create for teammates. But what I really like to do is shutting down opponents. I like using my size and being a factor on defense."

There is no guarantee a scholarship will be available to Alade. And with OU's guard laden squad, it's going to be tough to crack the rotation. But all he wanted was an opportunity. Now he's got that.

"I'm willing to work as hard as I can to get the scholarship," Alade said. "I don't know how long it will be, but I'm thankful to have this chance and be a part of this run-and-gun team. I love the way they use their guards."

Alade said schools like Akron, Lehigh and Montana were among some of the mid-major schools to show interest, but the love he felt at OU the first time around never went away.

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