When Louisville coach Rick Pitino visited Wednesday night, Akoy Agau said he wasn't expecting to commit on the spot to the Cardinals.
But the Omaha Central basketball standout did.
“I just had that feeling,” Agau said. “I didn't think I'd make a decision, but I knew it's the school I was going to. So why not make that decision? It's the right decision.”
He said family and close friends were at his house to meet Pitino and assistant Kareem Richardson.
“Definitely amazing,” Agau said. “Coach Pitino got to know them a little bit and got to interact with them.”
Pitino's trek to Omaha followed Agau's official visit to Louisville during the weekend. He paid his own way to Nebraska for unofficial visits, but Louisville was his only official visit.
“I checked out everything and I liked the facilities, loved the coaching staff, loved hanging out with the team and with the fans,” said the 6-foot-9, two-time All-Nebraska selection. “When I was on campus, I had the feeling it was the place for me.”
Agau has been one of the most highly recruited high school players from Nebraska in the past 20 years. Coaches and teams with NCAA championships were in pursuit.
“I'm really excited for him,” said Central coach Eric Behrens, who was present for Pitino's visit. “He's going to a great program with a great coach. They went to the Final Four last year, and they're going to be very highly ranked in the preseason. I'm really happy for him.”
Agau has started on Central's past three state championship teams — no player in Class A has started on four — and helped the Eagles win Class A for the sixth time in seven years. In the title game against Omaha South, he had a triple-double with 16 points, 14 blocked shots and 13 rebounds.
“He's not an immediate offensive impact player for a college team, but defensively he would make a huge impact right now,” Behrens said in March. “He has another year. His overall skill set is good. He needs some polish. If he would take the stuff we see from him at workouts and play that way, you'd say, ‘Wow, this kid is really good on offense.' ”
The visit and the commitment were the easy part of Agau's night. Then came the phone calls to coaches who had been recruiting him, including John Thompson III at Georgetown and Tim Miles at Nebraska. Agau's only other scheduled official visit was to Georgetown for its Midnight Madness weekend in mid-October.
“Those were very hard to make, especially when you've built connections with these coaches and talk to them almost every day and then you say you're not going to attend their school,” Agau said. “Coach Miles, he wished me the best of luck and said he hoped everything works out. He said he could have seen me doing something at Nebraska. He's a nice guy. He understood.”
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