Mohamed Bamba ends the wait, signs with Texas

Photo: Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports

Mohamed Bamba ends the wait, signs with Texas


Mohamed Bamba ends the wait, signs with Texas


One of the nation’s top recruits in the class of 2017 has (finally) made his college decision: Mohamed Bamba is headed to Texas.

The big man from Harlem, who played his prep ball at Westtown School in Pennsylvania, announced his decision with a post of The Players’ Tribune.

Bamba chose Texas over Kentucky, Michigan, and Duke.

“Coach Smart understood from day one that I’m someone who is looking to make a profound impact, both on and off the court,” Bamba said. “The more I learned about The University of Texas and the city of Austin, the more I realized this was an ideal platform for me to pursue my many goals.”

As a senior, the 6-11 Bamba nearly averaged a double-double with 12.8 points and 9.3 boards per game. He is ranked as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2017 by the 247Sports Composite. ESPN has him ranked No. 3 overall.

The post, titled Ready to Rock, explains Bamba’s thought process through his entire recruitment, and a lengthy explanation as to why he ultimately chose the Longhorns.

MORE: Mo Bamba and Kevin Knox answer revealing recruiting questions | Mohamed Bamba on ‘rich getting richer’ in basketball recruiting: There’s a ‘difference between greed and hunger’

Specifically, he spoke to his desire to earn an education while at Texas, both on and off the court.

How can a projected “one-and-done” college athlete get a real college education? That gets thrown around a lot and I want to go on record as saying that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. My academic focus is not just lip service. It’s extremely important to me and my family, but I also firmly believe that the best class I’ll ever take will actually be taught by the people I will surround myself with.

Bamba said he plans to arrive in Austin in June.

Smart, for his part, seems equally excited.

“I’m extremely excited that Mo has chosen Texas,” Smart said. “He’s as unique a person and player as I’ve been around. Mo’s combination of talent, intellect and ability to impact others will make him a catalyst in our program and on our campus from day one.”

In a statement released by Texas, Bamba’s mother and sister also weighed:

“I want my son to get the best education possible,” said Bamba’s mother, Aminata Johnson. “We are excited for Mohamed to be around professors, coaches, students and alumni who are going to support him in whatever he decides to pursue in life.”

“I have been really impressed with Shaka’s attention to detail and the ideas he has for nurturing Mo’s growth beyond basketball,” added Bamba’s sister, Sita Johnson. “I love the fact that Shaka understands how important it is to collaborate with our family to ensure my brother’s development as a person.”

There are now three elite uncommitted players still on the board in M.J. Walker, Tremont Waters, and Brian Bowen.


More USA TODAY High School Sports