The wait is finally over. Jahlil Okafor, the top basketball player in the 2014 recruiting class, will announce his college decision on Friday in front of the world.
Okafor provided news of the announcement himself on Twitter:
According to an ESPN press release, the event will be broadcasted on ESPNU as part of a signing day special that also includes top players Tyus Jones, Cliff Alexander and Stanley Johnson. Of course, this little nugget makes things more interesting:
Okafor (Whitney Young High School, Ill.) and Jones (Apple Valley High School, Minn.), who have previously announced they plan to play together, will make their announcement simultaneously and have narrowed their choices to Duke and Kansas.
Whichever school is able to get the commitment will receive two of the best players in the country. According to 247 Sports' Composite Rankings, Okafor is the No. 1 player in the nation while Jones is not far behind at No. 5.
Of course, the big man is the prize of the class as someone who can immediately transform any team he joins. Kansas and Duke appear to be the favorites, although Kentucky and Baylor were strong possibilities until recently.
Here is a look at what you need to know before Okafor makes his announcement.
When: Friday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. ET
Where: Whitney Young High School, Chicago
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Highlights and Evaluation
As soon as Okafor steps onto the court, you know you are watching one of the best players in the nation. The 6'10", 270-pound athlete is physically imposing and uses his size to dominate the competition.
Once he gets into the lane, he is tough to keep out and prevent from finishing at or above the rim.
Of course, it is not just the size that contributes to his production. The center is also incredibly skilled for his age and knows how to create points in the low post. He can back down his opponent and utilize a variety of moves to find openings near the basket.
When he is playing off the ball, he has soft hands that allow him to grab passes and finish with thunderous dunks.
On the defensive end, he has also shown the ability to be a hard worker that can pull down rebounds consistently, as well as block shots when battling down low.
Okafor does have room to grow, although most of the issues are areas where he will improve with experience. This includes the ability to pass out of double teams and avoid fouls on defense, along with improving his conditioning.
Still, his size, strength and overall skill set make him not only the top recruit in the country, but someone who can contribute to any college team right away.
Based on his potential, the Chicago native will likely be headed to the NBA sooner rather than later.
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