Jarred Vanderbilt, the 6-foot-8 small forward from Victory Prep (TX) School, committed to Kentucky on Friday, choosing the Wildcats over TCU, North Carolina and Oregon.
“I felt like it had a family atmosphere when I went out there,” he said. “Coach Cal [John Calipari], he’s a Hall of Fame coach, a great personnel coach and I feel like he does the best developing his players on and off the court. I feel like it’s a great school, a great opportunity for me to excel at.”
Kentucky could lose freshman big man Bam Adebayo to the NBA Draft, but also has Isaac Humphries, Tai Wynyard, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Wenyen Gabriel up front, as well as commitments from forwards Nick Richards of The Patrick School and P.J. Washington of Findlay Prep.
Kentucky now has five commits for 2017 with Vanderbilt, Richards, Washington and guards Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
They remain in the mix for shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, wing Kevin Knox and 7-footer Mohamed Bamba.
Vanderbilt talked about the possibility of entering the NBA Draft after his freshman year, saying before his commitment, “Right now, my goal is to be a one-and-done player. Whatever school gives me the best opportunity to showcase my game and be a lottery pick next year, that’s the main thing for me.”
ESPNU EXCLUSIVE: No. 22 overall prospect in Class of 2017 @JVando_ announces his college commitment!
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.