One of the final – and biggest – Class of 2017 dominoes has finally fallen, and not in Kentucky’s favor.
Mohamed Bamba, the 6-foot-11 phenom, announced Thursday morning on The Players Tribune that he will attend Texas, spurning Kentucky, Michigan and Duke.
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) May 18, 2017
The five-star recruit is the No. 2 prospect in the 247Sports composites.
Bamba attends Westtown School near Philadelphia and was a McDonald’s All-American.
Bamba described his process in the article, which is worth a read. He describes the process as “big rocks first” in terms of making priorities. For his decision, he said the “big rocks” were coach Shaka Smart and the academics “beyond basketball.”
He mentioned strength and conditioning and skill development as the “stones” in his decision, and the “pebbles and sand” as overall school environment, the college town atmosphere, ease of flying home to New York City, Kevin Durant’s deep involvement with the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the school, his gut feeling, and the weather.
“The world is bigger than 94 by 50 feet, and we all agreed that Texas offers me an exceptional opportunity to blaze my own trail on the basketball front with the comfort of knowing that no matter what happens, I’ve got an unrivaled support network to lean on for whenever the ball stops bouncing,” Bamba wrote.
At Texas, Bamba will join incoming players point guard Matt Coleman (No. 47 on 247Sports composite list), forward Jericho Sims (No. 49), forward Royce Hamm (No. 85) and shooting guard Jase Fabres (No. 86). Looks like a nice freshman five for coach Smart to roll out there this winter after a horrid 11-22 season.
Don’t cry for John Calipari and UK, though. The Cats still have a pretty good incoming class featuring Hamidou Diallo (if he doesn’t stay in the NBA Draft), Kevin Knox, Jarred Vanderbilt, P.J. Washington, Nick Richards, Quade Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jemarl Baker.