Mohamed Bamba's arrival raises stakes at Texas

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 19, 2017

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

The addition of Bamba propels Texas into the top five in the 2017 recruiting class rankings.

Bamba chose Texas over Duke, Kentucky and MI.

A big reason for that was Shaka Smart, who coached Bamba with the Team USA U18 squad that won a FIBA gold medal last summer.

Bamba averaged 12.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game in his senior season (2016-17) while leading Westtown School to a 32-2 mark and a second consecutive Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state title.

In the commitment piece Bamba wrote for The Player's Tribune, he made note of the McCombs School of Business at Texas, as academics played a significant role in Bamba's decision as part of what he deemed 'Big Rocks'.

"It's hard to rank the exact order of these, but I definitely took into consideration the overall school environment, the college town atmosphere, how easy it would be for my family to visit (five different airlines have a direct flight from NYC), my idol Kevin Durant's deep involvement with the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the school, and my own gut feeling", Bamba wrote. Adding Bamba, gives Smart an immediate replacement for future first round NBA Draft pick Jarrett Allen. His high school coach, Seth Berger, declined to comment on Wednesday.

"It's scary, from when I started two and a half years ago at The Patrick School, to where he is now", Rice said. So his basketball instincts aren't there yet, but he's come on so much. It's unfair that a 7-foot kid moves like that. "He has such a big upside, and Kentucky's getting a special person".

Duke will also have Wendell Carter next season, the No. 4 overall prospect and a 6-10, 262-pound forward.

Killeya-Jones, specifically, earned praise from UK's coaches for the way he finished this past season in practice, even though he did not play in the team's final 19 games.

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