The Athletic: Daniel Oturu’s fast rise and long road to the NBA Draft

BleedGopher

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Daniel Oturu walked the halls of his old high school this fall, winding through a modern, sun-splashed foyer and finding his way past a volleyball court to an athletic administration office that was way too cramped for a program as storied as Cretin-Derham Hall.

Before getting a workout in, Oturu was looking for a private place to get measured for a suit for the upcoming NBA Draft. He stood tall as the tailor’s measuring tape ran across his 7-foot-4 wingspan, making polite small talk along the way. As he thumbed through samples of designer fabrics and listened to suggestions about shirt-and-tie combos, it was not lost on Oturu that just a few years ago he was a student at this well-known private school in St. Paul and getting sideways glances when he would tell his teachers that he one day planned to play in the NBA.

“It’s kind of surreal, just walking through the halls, there are a lot of memories,” Oturu said. “My senior year we won the state championship that year. Being back here and seeing familiar faces, it always brings a smile to my face. It feels like life comes full circle. Coming right back to where you started right before you open up a new door for the next chapter of your life.”

He was a bit of a late bloomer on the youth circuit while growing up in Woodbury, was a strong recruit at the University of Minnesota, but not one that was expected to make the jump to the draft after just two years and could now be poised to surprise the mock draft builders out there if he is selected in the first round on Wednesday night. Oturu’s combination of size, footwork and room to grow make him an intriguing option for teams, and league sources told The Athletic that it could be enough to get him solidly into the first round.


Go Gophers!!
 
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