UCLA is the latest to offer Tempe Corona del Sol 6-foot-10 freshman basketball player Marvin Bagley III a scholarship.
His dad, Marvin Jr., sent me a photo of his son in one frame and a young Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in the other. The elder Bagley said somebody had posted the shots next to each other when Marvin was in middle school. The resemblance is uncanny. And who knows if Bagley can be as dominant as the former UCLA center some day.
Bagley, whom some recruiting analysts rate him as the No. 1 prospect for his class in the nation, has been a dominant force in his first year in high school.
He had an offer from defending national champion Connecticut before he entered high school.
Both Arizona State and Arizona have also offered.
“UCLA’s tradition speaks for itself,” Marvin Jr., texted of the Bruins’ offer on Tuesday. “The history of the school basketball people that have come through that campus is extremely humbling.
“For UCLA to even have interest in Marvin is an honor. But the offer is AMAZING! Marvin still has a little time before he really focuses on colleges, but the universities have shown the early belief in Marvin have really planted some good seeds in the recruiting process.”
Bagley has a skill set that makes him arguably the best freshman basketball player in Arizona preps history. He has length, killer instincts and great body control in the paint. He has an array of moves around the basket and is an unselfish player who knows when not to force the action and finds open teammates for easy baskets.
Arizona’s Top 25 high school boys basketball players – midseason:
It’s time to shake up Richard Obert’s preseason Top 25 boys basketball players rankings with a midseason list. Much has changed. A freshman has shown dominance around the basket not seen in Arizona since Richard Jefferson.