Nigerian hoops transfers get new guardians, will return to U-D Jesuit

Nigerian hoops transfers get new guardians, will return to U-D Jesuit

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Nigerian hoops transfers get new guardians, will return to U-D Jesuit

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Ikechukwu Donatus Eke and Greg Eboigbodin are not going anywhere after all.

Oakland County Family Court Judge Linda Hallmark ruled Wednesday that Eke and Eboigbodin, both 6-feet-9, will return to U-D Jesuit, where they were freshmen last year. The Michigan High School Athletic Association ruled them ineligible for their freshman seasons, but both are eligible for the coming school year.

The court also stripped legal guardianship from Ron Thomas, a businessman who brought the pair to Michigan from Nigeria.

Judge Hallmark also issued a restraining order against Thomas, prohibiting him from having contact with either of the young men and prohibiting him from being on U-D Jesuit grounds, and fined him $15,000.

Thomas, who lives in Farmington Hills, said he did not approve of the language U-D basketball coach Pat Donnelly used in speaking to his players. He is renovating a home in West Bloomfield and had enrolled the Eke and Eboigbodin in West Bloomfield for the coming school year.

Thomas’ son, Billy, was a sophomore at U-D last year, but will attend a prep school in Virginia this fall.

“They put a gag order on me,” Thomas said. “I can’t say anything.”

U-D Jesuit officials filed an emergency petition with Child Protective Services to modify the guardianship, alleging Thomas and his wife, Daccarette, mistreated the youngsters.

Greg Roth, the court appointed guardian ad litem to represent Eke and Eboigbodin, investigated the case. He said two different families have been appointed guardians.

U-D Jesuit president Karl Kiser said he was relieved the case has been decided and the boys will be at U-D in the fall.

“The boys are with new legal guardians,” said Kiser. “We’ve tried to help them to make sure what’s in their best interest happened, whatever that was. I’m really glad it’s resolved, it’s been not fun, but here we are.”

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Nigerian hoops transfers get new guardians, will return to U-D Jesuit
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