He is the fourth signee in program history ranked as one of the nation’s top two recruits, joining Avery Bradley (No. 1 by ESPN in 2009), Kevin Durant (No. 2 by Rivals in 2006) and Myles Turner (No. 2 by ESPN in 2014).
“I’m extremely excited that Mo has chosen Texas,” Smart said. “He’s as unique a person and player as I’ve been around. Mo’s combination of talent, intellect and ability to impact others will make him a catalyst in our program and on our campus from day one.”
He added: “Mo’s personality and dynamic skill-set fit extremely well with the other members of our incoming class as well as our returning players,” Smart added. “I’m very excited about our team composition and the way in which our guys will complement each other. There’s no question that Mo will make everyone around him better, both on and off the court.”
Bamba capped an illustrious scholastic career when he became the 19th player in UT program history to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game (March 29) and the 15th player in school history to play in the Jordan Brand Classic (April 14) earlier this spring. He also played for Team USA in the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit (April 7). In addition, Bamba earned a spot on the 2017 Naismith Trophy High School All-America first team and was one of five finalists for the Naismith National High School Player of the Year.
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. As a junior, he averaged 14.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game in pacing Westtown to the state championship. He also helped Westtown register a 26-6 record in his sophomore season in 2014-15.
A high-level student motivated to engage in a variety of interests beyond the court, Bamba plans to explore his interest in marketing within the prestigious McCombs School of Business.
“I want my son to get the best education possible,” said Bamba’s mother, Aminata Johnson. “We are excited for Mohamed to be around professors, coaches, students and alumni who are going to support him in whatever he decides to pursue in life.”Bamba joins a class that includes point guard Matt Coleman, shooting guard Jace Febres and power forwards Royce Hamm and Jericho Sims. Texas also added Mount St. Mary’s transfer Elijah Long, who has two years to play after sitting out 2017-18. The Longhorns also remain in the mix for 2017 Brewster (N.H.) Academy wing Sid Wilson.