April 3, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. - Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin announced on Thursday a release for sophomore center Chris Obekpa to pursue transfer options. The coach announced last week that Max Hooper, who graduates from St. John's University in May, has been granted permission to complete his collegiate career while pursuing postgraduate studies at another institution.
"We wish Chris good luck as he moves toward his next opportunity," said Lavin. "Max graduates in May with a degree in psychology and will look to continue his education and playing career at another institution. We wish Max the best of luck in all of his future endeavors."
Obekpa led the BIG EAST for the second-straight year in 2013-14, and ranked 28th in the nation in rejections with a 2.9 blocks per game average. Last season, Obekpa paced all of NCAA Division I with 4.03 blocks per contest while establishing a new single-season St. John's and BIG EAST freshman mark with 133 rejections, and swatting a school-record 11 shots in the victory vs. Fordham (Dec. 8, 2012). Obekpa's four blocks at Xavier this season (Dec. 31) made him St. John's all-time leader, passing former record-holder Robert Werdann (188, 1989-92), and Obekpa totaled a school-record 227 rejections in his two-year career.
In two seasons, Obekpa averaged 3.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds as well, contributing 3.8 boards and 4.8 rebounds per outing as a sophomore in 2013-14. On Monday he was named a CollegeInsider.com 2014 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year finalist.
Hooper, who transferred from Harvard after his freshman season in 2011-12, will graduate this May from St. John's in only three years with a B.S. in psychology. Hooper hopes to obtain an NCAA waiver that would allow him to compete during the 2014-15 season.
Hooper went 25-of-62 (.403) from long-distance in 25 appearances in 2013-14. The sophomore averaged 3.2 ppg in 9.0 minutes per contest, and his success rate from 3-point range ranked sixth in the BIG EAST.