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Hamidou Diallo, nation's No. 1 shooting guard, sets college announcement

Hamidou Diallo of Putnam Science (Conn.). (Photo: Kinfay Moroti, News-Press)

Hamidou Diallo of Putnam Science (Conn.). (Photo: Kinfay Moroti, News-Press)

Hamidou Diallo, the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2017, will announce his college destination in a ceremony on Saturday.

Diallo, from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, will return to his hometown of Queens for the announcement.

He has a final six listed of Kentucyk, Arizona, Kansas, Indiana, Syracuse and UConn. Kentucky has long been considered the favorite, although he has visited Kentucky and UConn within the last two weeks. Kentucky coach John Calipari also followed up with an in-home visit.

Reports from 247Sports and ZagsBlog.com among others indicate Diallo intends to enroll in college for the second semester, which begins next week. It is unclear whether he intends to play this season, although UConn has a larger immediate need than the Wildcats.

The Hartford Courant reported that Diallo met with his teammates and packed his belongings Wednesday.

Because he already has graduated high school, Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft, although he is expected to wait until 2018. He is rated by most analysts to be among top 10-12 players in the country, regardless of position.

“(Going pro) definitely is an option, but my focus is on getting better,” Diallo said at the City of Palms tournament two weeks ago. “(Recruiting has) been a tough experience and has its ups and downs. But I’m also blessed to have a lot of schools recruiting me who are at a high level.”

Hoop Scoop’s Clark Francis, who has covered high school basketball for more than 30 years, said while he ranks him as his No. 1 fifth-year player, he’s top 10, not top five, in his list of the country’s top seniors.

“I think he needs to go to college for a year. That would help confidence, give him more consistency, help his outside shooting. He can knock down the 3 but he doesn’t do it enough. He also needs to refine his skills and mature.”

Contributing: Fort Myers News-Press