Mitch Lightfoot, wearing a Kansas hat, can’t wait to get to Lawrence.
The Gilbert Christian 6-foot-9 senior forward feels he will help the Jayhawks immediately.
“They wouldn’t be giving me a scholarship if they didn’t think I could come in and play,” Lightfoot said. “They’re losing three big guys who are seniors and, potentially, four or five to the NBA.
“They think I can come in and play good minutes as a freshman.”
Lightfoot joined about eight of his Arizona Power Academy club teammates at a Tempe restaurant on Wednesday to celebrate the start of the early signing period.
Lightfoot, who turned down Arizona, Stanford, Utah and St. John’s for Kansas, will officially sign his letter Thursday during a ceremony at Gilbert Christian.
Schools were off Wednesday for Veterans Day.
Lightfoot’s ability to go outside and hit the 3-pointers makes him a great fit at the “stretch 4,” he said.
“They want me to stretch the court, and, all the while, I can defend from the 5 to outside,” Lightfoot said.
The early signing period for seniors in sports other than football and soccer (they sign in February) runs until Nov. 18. Some basketball players will wait until the April signing period.
Several other athletes in the state committed Wednesday. Phoenix Xavier Prep had 15 girls in various sports sign letters.
Phoenix Moon Valley 6-7 swingman Bryce Cheney brought his letter to Wednesday’s get-together in Tempe, signing with Texas Rio Grande Valley. Cheney was first offered a scholarship in April from Weber State.
“It’s basketball, and it’s another step to make my dream come true,” said Cheney, another inside-outside player like Lightfoot.
Gilbert Highland 6-9 forward Tim Fuller flipped his commitment Tuesday from San Francisco to Weber State.
Fuller said he felt he jumped too soon at the San Francisco offer after visiting the campus this fall.
He is a member of the Mormon Church and said he will serve a two-year mission before starting his college clock in 2018.
“I have a lot of family and old friends in the northern Utah area,” Fuller said. “I really do respect (San Francisco) Coach (Rex) Walters. It’s a beautiful city. I just feel this is a better fit for me.”
Chandler Basha center Devin Kirby, signing with Montana State, feels blessed that scholarships were still there for him after a devastating injury coming down on a dunk in late December during the game caused him to break bones below both of his knees.
He will be ready to open the season in a couple of weeks, feeling confident about dunking in competition again.
“I’ve come a long way,” Kirby said. “I’m getting my explosiveness back, my quickness. I’m moving better laterally.
“This is a dream of mine to get to go to college and get my education paid for. To make it official, and sign my letter, it’s a feeling of great accomplishment and great pride.”
Gilbert Christian guard Cameron Satterwhite will miss his senior season because of a July right knee injury that required surgery. But he was able to celebrate with his Power teammates, knowing he’ll be ready next season to play for Loyola Chicago.
Kirby’s brother, Maurice, showed Satterwhite around Chicago during the 6-3 guard’s official visit there this fall.
“Going there knowing someone already for at least two years helps,” said Satterwhite, who will go into sports management. “And Chicago, I fell in love.
“They’re guard-oriented and they utilize the pick-and-roll.”