Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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UConn has received a signed National Letter of Intent from Isaiah Whaley, who will join the men’s basketball program for the 2017-18 season, head coach Kevin Ollie announced on Thursday.
Whaley, a 6-foot-9, 195-pound forward from Gastonia, N.C., is coming from a prep school year at Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore. He joins an incoming UConn class that includes five newcomers.
“Isaiah is a long, active player who will bring us great energy,” Ollie said. “He gives us some more depth on the front line and I look forward to him coming in and fighting for playing time during his freshman year.”
Whaley averaged just over 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game for Mt. Zion, playing his best games against some of the finest prep school competition in the country and helping the team to a 27-10 record.
“Isaiah has a skill set that is off the charts, especially for a player of his size,” said Mt. Zion coach Roderick Harrison. “He is really mobile around the basket, but he can step out and make jump shots. On defense, he can guard guards as well as the bigger guys.
“The main thing for him at the college level will be to put on weight and gain strength. He’s a great kid and will work hard. With the people at UConn who can help him develop, he can be a very good player.”
Before his postgraduate year at Mt. Zion, Whaley spent three years at Ashbrook High in Gastonia and his senior year at the Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, where he averaged about 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, helping an outstanding team post a 34-6 record under coach Greg Primus.
“Isaiah is super athletic – very fluid,” Primus said. “He had a lot of college programs interested in him when he was with us. He’s very quiet and shy, but he’s a hard worker on the court. I think he’ll keep getting better in college.”
Whaley will join an incoming class of Huskies that also includes guard Antwoine Anderson (Rochester, N.Y.), a graduate transfer from Fordham, forward Eric Cobb (Jacksonville, Fla.), a junior college transfer from Chipola College, freshman forward Tyler Polley (Miramar, Fla.) out of The Sagemont School, and freshman forward Josh Carlton (Winterville, N.C.), out of DeMatha Catholic.
The Huskies remain in the hunt for 2017 point guard Tremont Waters and 2017 wing Sid Wilson.
Release: UConn Athletics
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.