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Recut: From Nigeria To The Hilltop: How Charles Bassey Landed At Western Kentucky

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Charles Bassey plays during a 2018 basketball tournament.

At 6-foot-11 and 220 pounds, 17-year-old Charles Bassey is a wonder. According to ESPN, Bassey averaged 19.4 points and 12.8 rebounds last season at Louisville's Aspire Academy and he got 13 points and 16 rebounds in the Nike Hoop Summit this past April. He's already forecast as a top NBA draft pick in 2019.

And Bassey's backstory is interesting, to put it mildly. Three years ago, when he was just 14 years old, he left his home and his family in Nigeria to pursue a high school basketball career in the United States. Under the guidance of Hennssy Auriantal — a man who became his legal guardian — in just a few years, Bassey became a top-five prospect.

He was on track to graduate from DeSales High School in 2019. Then, on June 13, news broke that Bassey would "reclassify" and commit to Western Kentucky University. Three weeks later, WKU named Auriantal as its new assistant basketball coach.

Since then, many questions have emerged about Bassey's graduation, among other things. Eleanor Klibanoff with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has been following Bassey's story. She joins us today on Recut.

Like what you hear? We do it twice a week! Every episode of Recut takes a closer look at a story we’re covering in the WFPL newsroom. Subscribe on  iTunes or  Android, and let us know what you think at  recut@wfpl.org.

Jonese Franklin