PORTLAND, Ore. – Two of the top five basketball recruits remain uncommitted with the start of the signing period on Wednesday, and both will be representing Team USA in the 20th annual Nike Hoop Summit on Friday night.
Trevon Duval, a point guard from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) is ranked No. 4 and Mohamed Bamba, a 6-11 post player from Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) is ranked No. 5.
Bamba earned a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2016 FIBA American U18 Championship played in Chile. Duval participated in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 USA Men’s Junior National team minicamps.
The combination of his size, massive wingspan and athleticism have drawn attention. He said he’s doesn’t feel rushed to make his decision and also doesn’t feel the pressure from outsiders.
“I don’t feel like people are really watching or waiting for me,” Bamba said.
His final four are Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas.
“Each of the four schools are the best at what they do,” he said. “Michigan with its overall excellence, the balance of academics and athletics and just how worldwide the Michigan brand is … With Duke you get three brands, you get Coach K, you get the school and you get the team. With Texas, Shaka (Smart) is one of the most energetic (coaches) and is really fun to be around. And with Kentucky, you realize how big basketball is.”
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Bamba is putting a lot of thought into the decision, and when asked why it has taken him a bit longer to decide, he says, “Each school is offering something pretty dope.”
What his final decision will boil down — chemistry with his coach. “Whether I am there for one year or four, my relationship with the coach has to be spot on,” he said.
Duval said he has felt the heat from announcing late, but mostly from friends and teammates at the Nike Hoop Summit.
“Everybody that has committed has been talking to me, everyone has been recruiting me and trying to put me there next year,” said Duval.
Duval said he plans to announce by the end of April and plans to add some flavor to how he announces where his next home will be.
“It’s going to be something…me and my dad are going to come up with something that is different and creative”, Duval said on how exactly his announcement will be made. It will be worth the wait, he promised.
“It’s going to be something different that no one has ever done before,” he said.