UIC Basketball Inks Odiase, Sims in Early Signing Period
Nov. 13, 2013
CHICAGO – UIC head men’s basketball coach Howard Moore announced the signing of 6-foot-9 forward/center Tai Odiase (Homewood-Flossmoor) and 6-foot-3 combo-guard Grant Sims (Bloomington North [Ind.]), during the NCAA early signing period on Wednesday afternoon. Both players will begin competing for the Flames next season (2014-15) and have four years of eligibility.
“We are thrilled to have Tai and Grant join the UIC basketball family,” said Moore. “Both young men are not only extremely talented basketball players, but also have tremendous character. I am confident that they will help us achieve our goals as a program and continue the pride of Flames’ basketball.”
ESPN currently tabs Odiase as the 24th-ranked player in Illinois and state’s fifth-best center. Odiase exploded onto the national scene last year with a strong finish to his junior season at Homewood-Flossmoor, becoming a regular in the Vikings’ starting lineup. The Chicago native averaged more than eight points and five rebounds per game for HF last year and garnered All-Conference accolades. He is known for his athleticism, shot blocking and ability to finish above the rim. Odiase plays AAU ball for Chicago’s Meanstreets coached by Terrence Wilburn. Odiase’s coach at HF is Jim McLaughlin.
Sims averaged 14 points, six rebounds and three assists per game for the Cougars during his junior season and was awarded honorable mention All-State accolades by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Sims is a long range threat, connecting on 48 percent of his threes last season, and is known for creating his own shot. He is a two-time All-Area and All-Conference selection and has served as Bloomington North’s captain since his sophomore year. Sims plays AAU ball for the Bloomington Blaze coached by Derek Cross. Sims’ high school coach is Andrew Hodson.
UIC will have one remaining scholarship for the 2014-15 season once senior Hayden Humes, Kelsey Barlow and Jordan Harks exhaust their eligibility.