Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Class of 2022 7’0 French center Christ Wilson Essandoko of Winston Salem Christian School (NC) has committed to Providence College, choosing the Friars over Maryland, Georgetown, Illinois, Oral Roberts, NC State, and Seton Hall. After coming to the United States from Paris, France in August 2020, Essandoko worked on both his body and game, trimming down to around 250 pounds and developing a formidable inside game. Suiting up for Team Curry (NC) during the AAU season, the top-150 recruit showcased his mobility and skill as a big man and held his own against some of elite prospects around the nation.
Heading to Providence College next fall, Essandoko fills a need for a strong interior presence with Nate Watson graduating next spring. Before that, he and his high school team have high aspirations to bounce back from a disappointing season last year and make a name for themselves as one of the top schools in North Carolina.
Essandoko spoke with Pro Insight’s Conrad Chow about his decision:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your unique journey. How did you get to where you are today?
Christ Wilson Essandoko: I came to the US a year ago. I came to the US in August 2020. Back then, I was 300-plus pounds and I lost a lot of weight. I got in shape. My junior season was a bit rough because I didn’t get much playing time as I was not used to the pace so I did not play a lot of minutes. So I would say from August to October, I got 10 offers. Then after that, my recruitment cooled down. Then I played in the summer with Team Curry (NC) and I racked up 12 more offers. It was a bunch of high major schools. When I was working on my game the whole summer, I was working out two to three times per day. My school is Winston Salem Christian School (NC). With Coach Lowe and Coach Honeycutt, we worked on my game the whole time and that’s really when I started blowing up.
PI: Without further adieu, where will you be attending next fall?
CWE: I will be committing to Providence College.
PI: What set Providence College apart? What made them different from the rest of your options?
CWE: Providence was my first visit, but I felt like I was at home right away. It was my very first time doing a visit — an official one, because I had already visited NC State and Wake Forest unofficially before that. It felt like home. The coaching staff really connected with me and tried to put me in the best position and tried to be comfortable with me. Then the recruiting process was just…I would say I was being recruited by the head coach, which was something different from other schools. They are losing Nate Watson next year so there was an opportunity to play big minutes in the Big East right away as a freshman. All these things set Providence apart from the other schools.
PI: What do you hope to bring to Providence?
CWE: I think I’m going to bring my skill set. There are not a lot of true centers in America right now. I’m able to shoot the ball, pass, and be a threat in the post. All those things I think I’ll be able to bring to Providence. Most of all, I think the coaching staff believes in me.
PI: What are your goals this season at Winston Salem Christian School?
CWE: We are going to try to bounce back from a disappointing season last year. We got five, six seniors coming back, so we’re going to try to bounce back, and I’m going to try to be as dominant as possible as Coach Lowe trusts me. I think I’m going to have a big role this year and I’m going to try to prove what I’m really capable of.