Playing for the men’s basketball team at Ohio State is a milestone freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh longed to achieve.
His dream came true as he became part of the 14-man roster for the 2022-23 Buckeyes, one of 10 new additions to the team.
“This was my dream school growing up,” Sensabaugh said. “Being able to have the opportunity like this at my dream school and being a part of the physical Big Ten, I’m just really excited to see where it takes me.”
Sensabaugh was a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports and Rivals, coming out of high school at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Florida. As a senior, Sensabaugh averaged 25.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
Sensabaugh said he looks to continue playing at a high rate at the college level, but that doesn’t mean the transition has been easy.
“The intensity has picked up and the game’s obviously faster,” Sensabaugh said. “For me personally, I think the workouts are more intense and just living here on campus instead of living at home is definitely a big change.”
Sensabaugh said it was hard to adjust at first, but his teammates, the coaching staff and his roommate, freshman center Felix Okpara, made it less challenging.
Ohio State has exceeded Sensabaugh’s expectations, he said, partially through older players who have made the adjustment easier for him. Sensabaugh said he learns from upperclassmen like junior guard Eugene Brown III and junior forward Zed Key.
“I can go to them for advice or anything I need,” Sensabaugh said. “Off the court, they’re even better people than they are players.”
As a senior, Sensabaugh made 89 3-pointers. He is already being recognized as someone who can catch and shoot beyond the arc, including by Okpara.
“Everyone on the team are shooters,” Okpara said. “Brice and Sean (McNeil) have really shown that they can catch and shoot at a really high level.”
Sensabaugh, standing 6-foot-6, said his athleticism helped him get to where he is today, as well as participating in team nutrition and strength programs.
Head coach Chris Holtmann said of the incoming class — including four four-star freshmen — he is expecting four to get playing time right away, and Sensabaugh is among them.
“Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr., Brice Sensabaugh, and Felix Okpara are all capable of helping this team and playing. They’ll go through ups and downs, they’ll have some challenges, but all four are going to play,” Holtmann said. “We’re excited about the potential of that group for sure.”
The reigning Florida Gatorade Player of the Year found extra momentum from previous Ohio State players, including former guard Malaki Branham. After one year playing for the Buckeyes, Branham was declared for the NBA Draft and was selected No. 20 overall by the San Antonio Spurs.
Branham found success at Ohio State as a freshman, and it has given Sensabaugh hope, he said. But, Sensabaugh said all the freshmen on the team are focusing on this season more than anything, along with the work they put in every day.
“As freshmen, we are all super realistic, and you know, we just put in the work,” Sensabaugh said. “Wherever that takes us, that’s where we’ll go. I don’t think we’re looking too far ahead in the future. We’ll take it day by day.”
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