Mikey Williams, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior-to-be combo guard from San Ysidro High School in San Diego, California, will start an official men’s basketball recruiting visit to Kansas on Monday, several recruiting sites reported. Williams is ranked No. 11 in the recruiting Class of 2023 by 247sports.com, No 20 by Rivals.com, No. 21 by ESPN,com and No, 24 by On3.com.
Williams — he made an unofficial visit to USC in February — also is considering Memphis, San Diego State and Arizona State plus HBCUs Tennessee State, Alabama State, North Carolina Central, Texas Southern and Hampton. It’s possible he could add schools to his list.
Williams, according to 247sports.com’s Eric Bossi, has over 3.6 million followers on Instagram. In November, he signed a multi-year footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Puma. He became the first U.S. high school basketball player to sign with a global footwear company.
“I am excited to join the Puma family this early in my basketball journey,” Williams said as quoted by ESPN.com. “Puma really understands how to mix hoops and culture, two things I am passionate about.”
Adam Petrick of Puma told ESPN.com at the time the deal was announced: “His talent on the court and his ability to connect with young athletes and fans alike will help drive hoops culture forward and inspire the next generation of athletes.”
ESPN indicated that Williams’ NIL representative is Excel Sports VP and agent Matt Davis. Davis has negotiated marketing deals for NBA players John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and others.
“This one is special because it’s the first of its kind, and no other high school basketball athlete has a shoe deal with a global footwear brand,” Davis told ESPN.com. “When Mikey signed with Excel, we approached the marketplace just as we would for a professional athlete, and that has paved the way for Mikey and other NIL athletes.”
Williams’ dad, Mahlon Williams, told Bossi of 247sports.com that his son definitely plans on attending college rather than turning pro right out of high school. Williams by the way played two seasons at Charlotte (N.C.) Vertical Academy. For his senior year he’ll return to San Ysidro High School where he played his freshman season before moving to North Carolina.
“I think for Mikey the goal has always been the same and that is to take it to the highest level that he personally can take it to,” Mahlon Williams told 247Sports.com. “Whether that’s being a great player in college then that’s where it’s at. Whether it’s being a great pro then that’s where it’s at. But he gives all of his heart to (basketball) and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand, his sacrifice and how hard he works.”
Mahlon added: “I’ve always said that Mikey is the perfect person for all of this because he’s very low key and relaxed. He understands that what you see on social media isn’t real. We also understand the social media world and the real world and as parents we don’t let the two worlds blend too much. So, he does what he needs to do as far as social media obligations but basketball wise, he understands ‘that’s my ticket and that’s what made all of this possible and so I’ve got to make sure that I maintain and do what I need to do.’’’
Bossi indicated that a “key component in all of this is going to be the contract that Williams is currently under with Puma. His family is hopeful that something will be able to be worked out if he wants to attend a school operating under a competing shoe brand contract, but it is certainly a very big bridge that will need to be crossed at some point.”
“We are all in on college,” Mahlon Williams stated to Bossi.
Sunrise’s Middleton visits UConn
Scotty Middleton, a 6-7, 180-pound senior-to-be small forward from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, has completed a visit to UConn, Zagsblog.com reported.
Middleton, who is ranked No. 19 in the recruiting Class of 2023 by ESPN.com, No. 36 by 247sports.com and No. 62 by Rivals.com, has a top five of UConn, Kansas, Seton Hall, Texas A&M and Ohio State.
“They think because of my versatility and my defensive mindset and the way they play, very fast and aggressive, I’ll be a modern day wing at UConn,” Middleton told Zagsblog.com.
KU, MU on Evans’ list of schools
Dennis Evans, a 7-1, 210-pound senior-to-be from Hillcrest High School in Riverside, California, has KU and Missouri on his list of schools, he told On3.com. Evans said he hopes to visit TCU and Minnesota this summer. His recruiting remains open. He is ranked No 12 in the Class of 2023 by Rivals.com and No. 21 by 247sports.com.
“Dennis Evans is a lengthy post prospect whose calling card is his defensive presence. A high-level rim protector, he can change the complexion of a game,” wrote Jamie Shaw of On3.com. “Evans is very skinny and does not move well, right now, laterally. Offensively, there are question marks about what he does or can do. While inconsistent, the lefty does have touch, with range off the catch that extends beyond the three-point arc.”