Top unsigned recruit Mohamed Bamba announces he is going to Texas

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

"He's literally a kid that if you put sports aside, he could have gone to school wherever he wanted to follow his academic pursuits, and that's a big part of why he's made a decision to come to Texas".

The addition of Bamba gives the Longhorns a five-man freshman class. Bamba will join incoming guards Matt Coleman and Jase Febres [pronounced: JAYCE FEB-rus] and forwards Royce Hamm Jr. and Jericho Sims for the 2017-18 season. He picked the Longhorns over his other final schools: Duke, Kentucky and MI.

Mohamed Bamba, the top uncommitted player in the Class of 2017, announced that he will attend Texas next season, choosing the Longhorns over Kentucky.

In his letter, the Harlem (New York) native said he bonded with Shaka Smart when he played under the Texas coach on Team USA (U18) last summer. Bamba was ranked by as the No. 2 overall prospect in that group, and few, if any, of his classmates got as much face time with UK Coach John Calipari over the past couple of years. "He's as unique a person and player as I've been around".

And Calipari has another player who could fill the role Bamba would've played at UK. His The Players Tribune piece can be viewed here.

Bamba, who plays for a high school in the Philadelphia area, had also formed close relationships with several members of UK's 2017 recruiting class, most notably point guard Quade Green, his friend and teammate on the Nike circuit and with Team USA.

With a little bit of coaching, Bamba could push for the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA Draft. "I saw his footwork improve".

As a senior, the 6-11 Bamba almost averaged a double-double with 12.8 points and 9.3 boards per game.

"I want my son to get the best education possible", said Bamba's mother, Aminata Johnson. As a junior, he averaged 14.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game in pacing Westtown to the state championship. "We are excited for Mohamed to be around professors, coaches, students and alumni who are going to support him in whatever he decides to pursue in life".

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