Western Kentucky earned a big boost to its 2018-19 basketball roster Wednesday. Not only did five-star forward Charles Bassey commit to the Hilltoppers and coach Rick Stansbury, but he also reclassified, meaning he will forego his senior high school season and play this upcoming year for Western Kentucky.
Bassey, who had offers from Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma and Washington, among many others, stands 6-foot-10 and boasts a 7-foot-3 wingspan. Not to mention, he was ranked the No. 3 player in 2019 class, per Rivals.com.
His commitment follows a number of notable Western Kentucky (and Stansbury) pickups in years past — most notably, 2018 NBA Draft hopeful Mitchell Robinson, who was ranked No. 9 in the 2017 class — and the pickups have often come with commentary.
We've got a new member in the WKU family. Hilltopper Nation, please help us welcome five-star center Charles Bassey, who will reclassify and join the Tops in the 2018 class! #GoTopshttps://t.co/ww90KMHDU9 pic.twitter.com/WgfqWpACEB
— WKU Basketball (@WKUBasketball) June 13, 2018
Back in 2016, before Robinson committed, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted: “Just got this text from high-major coach: ‘Other than Calipari and K, no one scares me more on recruiting trail than Rick $tansbury.'”
The 58-year-old and former Mississippi State head coach was asked about comments like these a year ago by the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“Anytime you do something you ain’t supposed to do,” Stansbury said, “people got to make excuses and throw rocks why you’re doing it.”
As I always say, the smart money is on Rick Stansbury in recruiting.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 13, 2018
Stansbury attributed Robinson’s commitment to a relationship he had prior to Stansbury accepting the job at Western Kentucky. That relationship only went so far, though, because Robinson never stepped on the court for the Hilltoppers.
Besides Robinson, Stansbury also recruited four-star guard Josh Anderson to Western Kentucky from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Anderson averaged 7.4 points per game last year.
Anderson will pair nicely with Bassey, who averaged 19.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2.9 assists per game last year as a junior at Aspire Academy in Louisville.
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