WHEELING, W.Va. — Dakari Johnson announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky in a nationally televised interview Saturday night.
Johnson, the No. 1-ranked center in the class of 2013, chose the Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown. The New York City native attended middle school in Lexington and played varsity basketball for Sayre High before transferring to a school in New Jersey for his freshman season. There, he was teammates with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Johnson, a 6-11, 250-pounder, now plays for Montverde Academy (Fla.). He was originally in the class of 2014, but announced earlier this season that he would switch to 2013 so he could play college basketball in the fall.
Ranked as a top-15 overall prospect by every major recruiting service, Johnson is the sixth member of UK’s class of 2013. He is one of five future Cats regarded to be a five-star prospect by at least one major recruiting service.
ESPN analyst Dave Telep said Johnson will be a nice addition to UK’s recent line of dominant big men, but he doesn’t play the same style as any of them.
“He’s not the athlete that some of those other guys are,” Telep told the Herald-Leader. “He’s not a rim protector and a bouncy athlete like (Anthony) Davis and (Nerlens) Noel have been. But, I’ll say this, for a guy his size he’s really starting to run the floor a lot better. I think he’s finally healthy.
“He was never going to be a great athlete. But now his stamina is much better. He’s a better defender, he moves his feet better now. It’s just a huge thing for a kid like that. It opens up so many different facets of his game. When he walks out onto the floor, he has so much self-confidence now.”
He will be eligible to officially sign with Kentucky in the spring.
|Aaron Harrison||SG||6-5||205||Houston, Texas||4||4||5||3|
|Andrew Harrison||PG||6-5||205||Houston, Texas||5||3||3||4|
|Dakari Johnson||C||6-11||250||New York City||13||15||12||13|
|Marcus Lee||F||6-9||200||Antioch, Calif.||18||39||30||9|
|Derek Willis||SF||6-9||200||Mt. Washington, Ky.||129||—||—||77|
|James Young||G/F||6-6||200||Rochester, Mich.||10||10||6||11|