DeAndre Ayton Soon to Be a Wildcat

DeAndre Ayton Soon to Be a Wildcat

Max Becker, Sports Editor

DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 Class of 2017 High School recruit in the nation, has just committed to play basketball for the University of Arizona. He currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona and attends Hillcrest Prep High School. This news was met with mixed feelings for Wildcats fans, as many top overall recruits to commit to Arizona end up never seeing the court.ayton-2

The 7’0, 243-pound forward from the Bahamas has been making waves in the high school scene, recently having a jaw-dropping performance of 52 points, 33 rebounds, and 10 blocks in a win over Sunrise Academy. He says he models his game after Kevin Garnett, a future Hall-of-Famer and arguably one of the best power forwards to ever play in the National Basketball Association.

While undeniably one of the best high school players in the nation, Ayton has not been very heavily recruited. There have been issues concerning his eligibility, as well as the possibility of skipping college in favor to play professional ball overseas. These concerns have been very real for Arizona, as these are all problems they have encountered in the past. Ndudi Ebi, a No.3 Overall Recruit, committed to Arizona but jumped to the NBA Draft straight out of high school before there was a rule prohibiting it. He is widely considered to be one of the biggest busts in the NBA’s history. Another top-recruit, Terrance Ferguson, jumped the Wildcat ship to play overseas in Australia after eligibility concerns would likely require him to spend 2 years at the U of A. Brandon Jennings, the top-rated Point Guard of the 2008 Class, signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Arizona but instead went to play professionally in Italy before being drafted into the NBA.

Arizona fans may breathe a little easier, as Ayton has repeatedly confirmed that he plans to attend college for at least one year, even being quoted saying, “If you know me, you know I want to go to college.” Ayton could be a key component for our Arizona squad, and hopefully will lead us back to the Final Four.ayton-4

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