One of the better prospects in the 2016 high school basketball class is off the board, as 6’7” small forward V.J. King of Paul VI (Va.) committed to Louisville on Friday. He made his announcement via his Instagram page.
King, who originally played at the same high school as LeBron James—Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)— , is ranked as the No. 18 player by Scout.com, No. 11 player by Rivals.com and the No. 25 player by ESPN.com. He played for Team Takeover on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit and that is the club Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson used to coach.
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“Words cannot express the feeling,” King said in the Instagram post announcing his decision. “All the glory and praise goes to the main upstairs. This is only the beginning.”
The pledge ends a spirited fight between Connecticut and Louisville for King’s services, though Arizona, Kentucky and Virginia were also in the mix for the consensus top-25 prospect. King took official visits to U of L in mid-May and UConn at the end of the month.
“I’d say over the past week, there’s been a lot of conversation and a lot of dialogue,” said King’s high school coach, Glenn Farello. “He came up with the decision the last couple days. We wanted to get through exams, and he finished today, so he pulled the trigger.”
King is averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit and is the first commitment for Rick Pitino—who agreed on a contract extension this week—in the 2016 class.