5 Illinois basketball top priority recruits after Will Riley commitment

There are plenty of big names out there for the Illinois basketball program, but there are five recruits who I have my eye on
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Chidi Nwigwe - Class of 2026

Not all of the top recruits who I want Illinois basketball to land for the future are in the class of 2025. I think a huge recruit the Illini are eyeing is Chidi Nwigwe.

Nwigwe is a 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 27 player in the class of 2026. He is also the No. 10 small forward in the country and the No. 1 player coming out of Kansas.

For fans, it might be a little early to think about the class of 2026, as the class of 2024 hasn’t even played a game yet, but the Illinois basketball coaching staff is already planning for the future.

Illinois has been recruiting Nwigwe for quite some time now. In May 2023, Illinois came in with a scholarship offer to the talented forward. Since then, the recruitment hasn’t let up.

In January, assistant coach Geoff Alexander tripped to watch Nwigwe. Alexander then made another trip in February to watch him play. In mid-May, assistant coach Orlando Antigua went and watched Nwigwe play as well.

Illinois is clearly putting a lot of resources into recruiting Nwigwe. He is a big-time player who could continue to rise in the national recruiting rankings. This work now will pay dividends down the road in a competitive recruiting landscape.