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Former Redskin Randle El Celebrates Special Day At Virginia Academy


Former Redskin Antwaan Randle El was part of a historical Signing Day Ceremony at Virginia Academy.

Like several other schools across the country, Virginia Academy celebrated National Signing Day on Monday. 

But Signing Day at Virginia Academy was special this year; this is the first graduating class in the Academy's history.

Former Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El has been an integral part in growing the Academy. Randle El is the athletic director, and has helped grow the program to incredible heights.

"As athletic director, I am extremely proud of the hard work our student athletes have displayed in the classroom and on the basketball court," Randle El said.

The basketball team has won the state championship the past two years and is gunning for a three-peat this year.

The two signees have been leaders of the basketball program for the past couple years. Simon Ejike Obinna has committed to play at Vanderbilt University and Jahlil Jenkins committed to Fairleigh Dickinson University.

"It means a lot," Randle El said on signing day. "It says that we as a school, as a church, as a team have come together and poured into these kids from an educational and spiritual standpoint and giving them the best when it comes to that and allowing them to flourish while they're here."

The academy is still growing, but Obinna and Jenkins were an integral part of the first wave of success.

Obinna arrived from Nigeria four years ago, and didn't know where he was going to go to school. But with an incredible host family and an enormous amount of support from the teachers, faculty, and coaches at Virginia Academy, he has thrived.

"As a player, I've been in the gym a lot and working on my game," Obinna said. "I've worked with good coaches and good people, and they love working with me. I just kept my dream [of playing college basketball alive] by working every single day."

Jenkins has only been at the Academy for the past two years, but has been an integral part of the basketball team's success. 

"It's amazing," Jenkins said. "This church has been good to me for the two years I've been here. Coach El has pushed me to be great. He's given me tips how to be a better leader."

With the combination of spirituality, great education and good and improving athletics, Randle El hopes to continue to grow the academy to even greater heights.

Both Jenkins and Obinna excelled in the classroom as well as on the basketball court, as both received a GPA of 3.6 or higher in every quarter they have been at the Academy.

"We kind of grow it by letting our light shine," Randle El said on growing the academy. "We try to tell parents 'we want your kid to have the best.' We strive to present them with the best spiritual teaching, the best education, the best athletics. We have the best people around them to help them to help them grow. A lot of kids want to come to our school, and we welcome it. That's why we are what we are with tuition; we try to keep that reasonable to welcome kids and keep them alike."

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