THE suitors continue to line up for the top ranked high school basketball recruit in America, and although we are quite some time away from a final decision, Bahamian centre DeAndre Ayton mulled his first round of scholarship offers.
Ayton spent the past week continuing along the summer AAU circuit with his latest stop at the NBPA Top 100 camp where he discussed his recruitment by the Kentucky Wildcats. He also received offers from Duke and Michigan State.
According to Kyle Tucker, of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Ayton received his first recruitment call from University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
“He was just saying he’d love to have me at the school and he’s giving me an official offer to the University of Kentucky, It was a good feeling, but I want more to come in. I’m working on more,” he said. “Kentucky’s a great school. They’ve got a lot of people in the NBA that’s high draft picks. And sometimes what they fall back on, too, if they don’t go that far or get injured or something.”
He has also been contacted by the Kansas Jayhawks’ Bill Self and San Diego State Aztecs’ Steve Fisher.
He added Kentucky’s recent history of producing big men who became lottery picks at the NBA level, including DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel and Karl Anthony-Towns.
“That’s pretty big,” Ayton said. “I’m looking at that a lot. And Duke, too. Duke and Kentucky, I’ve been looking at to see how they’re doing with their bigs.”
On the initial posting of the “ESPN 60” for the class of 2017, Ayton topped the list. They list Ayton as a five-star recruit with an overall grade of 97 out of a possible 100 points. Ayton is also listed as the No.1 recruit in the class of 2017 by scout.com and rivals.com of Yahoo Sports.
The 7’0 foot tall, 235-pound pivot, in his inaugural season with the Balboa City School Force in San Diego, California, Ayton averaged 21.1 points, 16 rebounds and 3.8 blocked shots per game. He went on to finish with double doubles in 21 of his 22 regular season games.
He is considered the top high school player in the United States, irrespective of class, despite the fact that he will enter the 11th grade this fall.