Angelo Chol's letter of intent never made it to Sudan, but he became an official Arizona Wildcat on Thursday.
Chol, a 6-foot-9-inch, 215-pound forward from Sudan via San Diego, committed to the Wildcats in February and was scheduled to sign a binding letter of intent when the spring signing period began last month.
But his father, Akieng, returned to Sudan shortly before the signing period began, and could not be easily reached by telephone. But according to Ollie Goulston, Chol's coach at San Diego Hoover High School, UA assistants James Whitford and Book Richardson secured a waiver from the NCAA that allowed San Diego attorney Leslie Coughlin to sign the LOI instead.
Neither Goulston nor Coughlin are legal guardians of Chol, 17. But Coughlin aided Chol as a refugee from Sudan and has remained close.
"Eventually, we got it all done," Goulston said. "It really didn't matter to me one way or another, because I knew he was going there. But for Angelo, it was a weight off his shoulders."
The receipt of the letter allows UA coaches to visit Chol more frequently and talk about him publicly. UA coach Sean Miller said in a statement he was excited to have Chol, the fourth and probably final signee of a 2011 recruiting class rated No. 4 by Rivals and Scout.
"Angelo is an exceptional athlete, an excellent shot-blocker, and has become a very skilled player when facing the basket offensively," Miller said. "This versatility as a forward makes him an ideal fit for our style of play. ... We are eager to help his continued development."
In November, the UA signed forward Sidiki Johnson of Bronx, N.Y.; guard Josiah Turner of Sacramento, Calif.; and guard Nick Johnson of Gilbert.
"It is exciting to see how well Angelo complements the abilities of Nick, Josiah and Sidiki," Miller said. "We are counting on these guys to contribute immediately."