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Obanor announces decision to return to Tech for final season

Kevin Obanor has announced his decision to return to Texas Tech and play another collegiate...
Kevin Obanor has announced his decision to return to Texas Tech and play another collegiate season having already produced 1,676 points, 889 rebounds and 35 double-doubles in his career.(Texas Tech Athletics)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It’s official, Kevin Obanor will be back in scarlet and black next season.

Today, Obanor announced his decision to return to Texas Tech and play another collegiate season having already produced 1,676 points, 889 rebounds and 35 double-doubles in his career.

This past season, Obanor averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, finishing the year by recording three double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament.

He earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and helped the Red Raiders advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four NCAA Tournaments. The 2022-23 season will be a super senior season with him playing three seasons at Oral Roberts before transferring to Tech to play last season.

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Texas Tech sent out this release on Friday afternoon:

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kevin Obanor has announced his decision to return to Texas Tech and play another collegiate season having already produced 1,676 points, 889 rebounds and 35 double-doubles in his career.

“I’m coming back because I love everything Texas Tech is about, from the fans, to the coaching staff,” Obanor said. “Also, we have some unfinished business for the goal to leave Tech better than it was found.”

Obanor, who was weighing options of turning professional, is coming off a season at Tech where he averaged 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, finishing the year by recording three double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament. He earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and helped the Red Raiders advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four NCAA Tournaments. The 2022-23 season will be a super senior season with him playing three seasons at Oral Roberts before transferring to Tech to play last season.

“He’s a proven winner with a lot of experience,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “I really liked the way he played with a lot of toughness and character last season. He got us a lot of big offensive rebounds and always fought hard to help us win big games. We can definitely build a team around him and is ready for the challenge that comes with being a team leader.”

A Houston native, Obanor led the Red Raiders with 205 rebounds and 48 3-pointers during the 2021-22 season. He came on strong at the end of the season, scoring in double figures in the final seven games and having double-doubles in four of those seven games. Obanor had five double-doubles during the year, finishing the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Duke in the Sweet 16 after he had going for 10 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Montana State and led the Red Raiders with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the victory over Notre Dame.

Obanor and Bryson Williams were the only Red Raiders to start all 37 games during the season where Tech finished with a 27-10 overall record and went 18-0 at home. He shot 46.7 percent from the field and produced 20 games in double-figure scoring. Obanor scored a season-high 23 points in the home win over Baylor where he also had 13 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. He scored 21 of those 23 points in the second half to help spark the Red Raiders who completed the season sweep of the reigning national champion. He also had a season-high five 3-pointers in the home win over Texas, going 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and finishing with 17 points in the victory over the Longhorns.

Through 123 games in his career, Obanor has made 170 3-pointers (39.5 percent) after making three or more 3-pointers in eight games. His 15 rebounds against Notre Dame was his season high but three shy of his career high of 18 while at ORU. His five double-doubles ranked fifth in the Big 12 and he was ninth in the conference in total rebounds.

Obanor arrived in Lubbock having already produced 30 double-doubles and had 1,306 points and 684 rebounds during his three seasons at ORU. He finished his junior season with three double-doubles in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, including going off for 30 points and 11 rebounds in a first-round upset over Ohio State. He also had double-doubles against Florida and Arkansas as ORU went to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed.

Obanor will go into next season with six double-doubles in NCAA Tournament games. His three as a Red Raider in the 2022 NCAA Tournament established a new program record for most double-doubles in the tournament.

For the latest on the Texas Tech men’s basketball team, follow @TexasTechMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on the web at TexasTech.com.