St. John’s suspends starting center Chris Obekpa for two weeks


St. John's starting C Chris Obekpa has been suspended for two weeks. (USATSI)
St. John’s starting C Chris Obekpa has been suspended for two weeks. (USATSI)

One of the best shot blockers in the country just had his chance at playing in an NCAA Tournament taken away.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin announced on Sunday afternoon junior center Chris Obekpa will be suspended for two weeks, citing a violation of team rules.

“If St. John’s were to advance in the postseason, Obekpa would not be available for the Red Storm’s games prior to March 29,” according to St. John’s.

“All of the young men associated with our program are held to standards consistent with the aims and mission of our university,” Lavin said in a statement. “Accountability is tied to the decision making of our student-athletes. It is our hope Chris will learn from this experience.”

The 6-foot-10 Obekpa averaged 7.0 rebounds, 5.8 points and 3.2 blocks, his swats per game fifth-best in the country. St. John’s is 21-11 this season and lost in the Big East quarterfinals on Thursday to Providence.

Entering Sunday, the Johnnies were slotted as a No. 8 seed by bracketologist Jerry Palm.


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