On the same day it plays its first game of the 2021-22 season, the Louisville men’s basketball program has landed a big (literally) commitment.
Fredrick King, a 6’10, 220-pound center with a 9’2 standing reach from the Bahamas, has announced that he will play his college basketball in the States and at the University of Louisville.
I’m not going to pretend to have any sort of insight or prior knowledge about this commit, so I’ll let ESPN’s Jonathan Givony take it away.
King is a major success story for the NBA Academy, as he was an unknown upon joining the program in January, with zero Division I scholarship offers prior to being seen at the academy’s event in Mexico for the first time. He is a mobile big man who is quick off his feet and plays with an exceptionally high intensity level, while possessing intriguing skill, poise and maturity. He converted 77% of his field goal attempts at the Academy Games, many of which came on dunks, and 74% of his free throws.
King is young for his class, the same age as or younger than many high school juniors in the U.S. At one point he was deemed a candidate to take a gap year and enter college in 2023, but his strong play and aggressive pursuit by college suitors caused him to revisit those plans. He will enroll at Louisville as a 17-year-old and likely possesses considerable upside to tap into with his extreme lack of experience against high-level competition, putting him on a different trajectory than most big men in this class.
His commitment is a coup for a Louisville team that is awaiting word from the NCAA on potential punishments stemming from allegations made in the FBI’s investigation into the sport of college basketball. The school had landed only one other commitment in the 2022 class, from four-star wing D’Ante Davis, brother of Louisville sophomore D’Andre Davis. The Cardinals will be losing starting center Malik Williams, a member of the Preseason All-ACC Second Team, after five years in the program.
If his potential is as legitimate as it sounds, King seems like kind of the perfect recruit for this moment in Louisville basketball. He can come to U of L as a 17-year-old project, improve during a redshirt year or play behind more experienced big men as the Cards deal with whatever punishment the NCAA hands down. And then ideally, King will be ready to play big time minutes and flourish right as U of L is finally emerging from underneath the NCAA’s dark cloud.
Sounds like a plan.