Louisville basketball picked up its first commitment for the 2017 signing class on Thursday, and it was a big one.
Malik Williams, a 6-foot-10 forward from Fort Wayne, Indiana, announced his verbal pledge to U of L via Twitter. The top-50 prospect was at the very top of Louisville’s wish list in this recruiting class, and U of L head coach Rick Pitino made numerous trips to watch Williams play over the July evaluation period.
Williams was also considering Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue, among others. He visited U of L twice this summer – both unofficial trips that lasted just a day – but the Cards were thought to be the leaders in the sweepstakes for his commitment for some time.
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A stretch power forward who can even play some wing, Williams had a strong run of performances this summer for his Indiana-based AAU team, LEGIT Basketball. He has risen to a five-star rating on 247Sports.com, ranked as the 22nd-best prospect in the nation. Scout.com (30th), Rivals.com (35th) and ESPN.com (42nd) all consider Williams a four-star prospect.
A Louisville coach was at every single game Williams and his team played.
“I liked it down there. It’s a nice campus. Coach (Rick) Pitino (and his staff) just said that they like my personality, my versatility and how I can help the program,” Williams told the Indianapolis Star in June. “I think I’d fit in nicely there. They would help me play my game and develop my game.”