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Saturday, Dec. 13

Echols to suit up for 'Birds at UIC     Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 13, 2003]  NORMAL -- The official grades were submitted, and Illinois State's Najeeb Echols will make his Redbird debut on Saturday in his hometown of Chicago at the UIC Pavilion against Illinois-Chicago. Per NCAA transfer rules, Echols had to satisfy a year of residence in order to establish eligibility requirements.

Head coach Porter Moser will ease Echols into the Redbird rotation but is pleased with the added depth he immediately brings to the post.

"I'm happy for Najeeb and we welcome him to the team," Moser said. "We are going to work him in slowly to help him with conditioning and let him get back into the flow offensively and defensively. As I've said before, there is going to be a learning curve with Najeeb, and I don't want to put a lot of pressure on him. But when Najeeb is at his best, he is an explosive power forward that will bring us some depth inside and help us on rebounding."

Echols, a 6-7, 230-pound transfer from Missouri, played in 10 games for the Tigers during the 2002-03 season, averaging 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest. As a freshman, he averaged 2.5 points and 2.6 boards in 32 games with the Tigers.


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As a prep, Echols finished his career at Morgan Park High School but never played in a game there. As a teammate of current Redbird Marcus Arnold, Echols missed his entire senior season with a knee injury. Prior to his senior campaign, Echols was ranked by most recruiting services among the nation's top 30 seniors.

Echols played his first three years of high school at Chicago Whitney Young. As a junior, Echols averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists per game. He was also instrumental in Whitney Young winning the IHSA Class AA state championship during his freshman season.

[Todd Kober, director of athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

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