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Maduegbunam ready to join fold

One of Tim Frazier's biggest fans will join him in the Penn State backcourt this coming season.

Akosa Maduegbunam will sign his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon.

"Every now and then I'll send him a text and say, 'Hey Tim, I can't wait to play with you, and I'm really excited,'" Akosa Maduegbunam said. "He likes my game. I love his game."

Maduegbunam will take another step -- the biggest yet -- toward becoming Frazier's teammate at 2 p.m. this afternoon, when he'll sign his letter of intent to join the Nittany Lions.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Boston was recruited by Patrick Chambers even before the coach joined Penn State last summer, and committed to the Nittany Lions in late June. Maduegbunam watched the majority of Penn State's games on television -- "Thank God for my mom ordering DirectTV," he said -- which reaffirmed what he liked about Chambers, who coached at Boston University from 2009-11.

"His energy's always there, even when the players' energy isn't there," Maduegbunam said. "He brings it every day. We can always rely on him to have our backs. He's very family-oriented. I love that about Coach Chambers. He asks about my brothers, how my mom's doing."

Maduegbunam played his first three high school seasons at Boston's Charlestown but decided to transfer to Winchendon Prep for his senior year.

"The NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) is one of the best conferences in the country at the high school level, and I'd be playing against tough competition every night," he said. "I think during the course of the season, I realized coming into Winchendon, getting challenged academically, taking the SAT class I needed, and on the basketball court -- it was everything I needed."

Playing a difficult schedule that included multiple games against national powerhouses Brewster Academy, New Hampton and Notre Dame Prep, Winchendon struggled to a 9-23 finish. But Maduegbunam, who averaged 19 points per game, believed he made big strides as an individual.

"I learned how to play in an offense," he said. "At my last school, the ball was given to me, and it was 'Go out and make a play.' I'm more patient with letting the game come to me and it improved my defense in learning where the ball is and communicating with my teammates."

Maduegbunam is likely to play more of the two than the point for the Nittany Lions, who lost Trey Lewis and Matt Glover to transfers at the end of the season, but he said Chambers talked to him about "recruiting basketball players" who could make plays at any position.

His goals for the summer are to add some weight and improve his ball-handling.

"I can work on everything," Maduegbunam said. "In basketball, you're either getting better or you're getting worse."

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