by Dan Gardella 

FAIRFIELD-  Sacred Heart standout E.J. Anosike has found a new home, which in a way is very familiar to him.


Anosike follows in his sister, Nicky Anosike’s footsteps. Nicky played under Pat Summitt at Tennessee from 2004-2008. For Anosike, the decision stretched beyond the basketball court. 


“It was huge,” said Anosike. “Growing up watching the winning culture made Tennessee a winning place in my mind. I’m a winner and I want to be a winner in everything I do.”


Anosike chose the Volunteers over six other schools, according to his twitter account. The forward was ranked as the sixth best graduate transfer on the market according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. 


Anosike will leave Sacred Heart after scoring more than 1,000 career points in three seasons with the Pioneers. A majority of the points came over the past two seasons, in which he grabbed the conference’s Most Improved Player in 2018, and landed on the conference’s first team this season. 


Pioneers’ head coach Anthony Latina continuously called Anosike the hardest working player he has ever coached, and the numbers prove it. Anosike upped his scoring every year since he arrived to Sacred Heart, going from 4.3 points, to 14.3, to 15.7. 


Anosike was also sixth in the country in rebounds per game this season, grabbing 11.7 a night.  


Anosike will now take his talents to the SEC, where he will play for Rick Barnes. Barnes took Grant Williams, also a 6’6 power forward and turned him into a two-time conference Player of the Year and a first round draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.  


Anosike becomes the third Pioneer to transfer to a Power 5 school over the past five seasons, joining Cane Broome, who transferred to Cincinnati, and Quincy McKnight, who became a standout at Seton Hall following his time in Fairfield. 


As of right now, Sacred Heart will enter the 2020-2021 season losing three starters from last season’s team that made it to the Northeast Conference semifinals for the first time in over a decade. 


The loss of Anosike and Jare’l Spellman will likely spell more minutes for rising junior forward Zach Pfaffenberger, who showed flashes of consistency down the stretch of the season.