Men’s basketball senior guard chosen for MVC All-Defensive Team

Toby Okani holds a basketball in his hand. He is wearing a white basketball shirt with the number 5 on it and white and red basketball shorts.
Toby Okani was selected for the Missouri Valley Conference All-Defensive Team.

UIC men’s basketball senior guard Toby Okani [Orange, N.J./Cushing Academy (Mass.)] was chosen for the five-person Missouri Valley Conference All-Defensive Team, the conference announced Wednesday during its annual awards banquet at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel on the eve of the 2024 State Farm MVC Tournament (known as Arch Madness).

Okani is the ninth UIC player to earn conference all-defensive honors and the first since Marcus Ottey was a member of the 2019-20 Horizon League All-Defensive Team. Okani is also the second current UIC player to earn a postseason MVC accolade, following junior forward Filip Skobalj (Belgrade, Serbia/Don Bosco-Schule Rostock), who was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team for the second consecutive season on Monday.

A defensive force for UIC all season long, Okani leads the conference in blocked shots (2.03 per game.), while ranking sixth in double-doubles (4) and seventh in rebounds (6.81 per game), defensive rebounds (5.26 per game) and steals (1.45 per game). He is one of two players in the MVC to rank in the top 10 in the conference in the three primary defensive categories (rebounds, steals and blocks), and he is fourth in the MVC with seven double-digit rebounding games. Okani has posted a career-high 63 blocks this season, good for ninth on UIC’s single-season list, and he has registered at least three blocks in nine games this year, including a season-high six rejections in the Flames’ Nov. 6 opener at Cincinnati.

The MVC All-Defensive Team was selected through a vote of the conference’s 12 head coaches, as well as MVC sports information directors and media members.

UIC will open postseason play at 8:30 p.m. Thursday against Southern Illinois in the first round of the 2024 State Farm MVC Tournament (“Arch Madness”) at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The game will be televised live on the MVC TV Network, which includes NBC Sports Chicago Plus, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports Indiana Extra, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports South Extra and ESPN+. The radio broadcast of Thursday’s first-round game will also be carried worldwide on the Flames Network through, with additional radio coverage in the St. Louis metro area on KTRS-AM (550).

Fans who would like to purchase tickets for Thursday’s evening session featuring UIC (or all-session tickets for the full MVC Tournament) should contact the UIC Athletics Ticket Office at 312-413-8421 or via email at

For more information on UIC men’s basketball, fans are encouraged to visit, or follow the Flames on social media through X (@UIC_MBB and @UICFlames) and Instagram (@uic_mbb and @uicflames).

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