Near the end of his official visit to Kansas State, Dean Wade found himself sitting at a table with the Wildcats’ basketball coaching staff Sunday morning.
He didn’t want the trip to end.
By orally committing to K-State moments after that thought entered his mind, the Saint John forward is now looking forward to a college basketball career in Manhattan.
“I love the fans and the coaching staff,” Wade said by phone. “They are going to get me so much better than I am right now, and playing in Bramlage Coliseum in front of all those fans is going to be a dream come true.”
Wade could fit in well at K-State. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward gained substantial notoriety on the recruiting front this summer, picking up more than a dozen scholarship offers and breaking into the latest Rivals 150 rankings at No. 107, completing the journey from unheralded recruit to coveted prospect.
He took his first and only official visit with the first college that showed interest in him -- Kansas State. He picked the Wildcats over Wichita State, Creighton, Iowa and Vanderbilt. Wade was scheduled to visit Wichita State next weekend, but he will no longer make the trip.
“Everything about Kansas State excites me,” Wade said. “The team is really family oriented. They are always around each other, always having fun. Then they go play basketball and they are serious. It’s just a really good group to be around.”
Wade has some ties with K-State. He says he visits Manhattan twice a year for football games. And his father played receiver for the Wildcats in 1985 before transferring to Western Illinois. Wade also attended K-State’s victory over Kansas in Bramlage Coliseum last season.
He is the first in-state recruit to commit to K-State since Bruce Weber was hired as coach and the first to commit to the Wildcats since Will Spradling.
Wade has helped Saint John win back-to-back Class 2A state championships.
“I like being a young kid from a little town,” Wade said. “I came from a really small town and made it here, so if I can do it it gives hope to younger kids that they can do it, too.”
Wade is the third member of K-State’s 2015 recruiting class, joining forward Eric Cobb and guard Barry Brown.