Kansas State landed one of the nation’s top unsigned junior-college guards Thursday.
Amaad Wainright, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound sophomore from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, orally committed to the Wildcats after averaging 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season.
“He fills up the stat sheet,” Trinity Valley coach Guy Furr said in a phone interview. “There were nights he led us in scoring, there were nights he led us in assists, there were also nights when he led us in rebounds. Had he been selfish, he could have easily averaged in the 20s for us, and he would have done so at most junior-college programs. But he is a team player.”
Wainright, originally from Kansas City, is the brother of former Baylor guard Ishmail Wainwright. His grandfather, Maurice King, played at Kansas in the 1950s. He projects to play shooting guard or small forward for the Wildcats. He is the nation’s 26th rated junior-college prospect, according to jucorecruiting.com.
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He began his junior-college career at Penn Valley (Mo.) and later transferred to Trinity Valley. He signed with North Texas last fall, but received his release from the school following a coaching change last month and re-opened his recruitment. He then gained interest from several power-conference schools, including Illinois and LSU.
But his face lit up when K-State coach Bruce Weber visited him three times and ultimately offered him a scholarship.
“When Kansas State started talking to me I was just like, wow, that is a dream come true,” Wainright said. “Being a Kansas City guy and having Kansas State coming to recruit me, I couldn’t pass up that offer.”
Playing close to his hometown for a Big 12 school has long been a dream for Wainright.
“I am ready to get on the court with that Kansas State jersey on,” he said. “I can’t wait.”
He is also looking forward to learning from Weber, a coach his brother encouraged him to play for. Based on what he has seen from the Wildcats, Wainright thinks he will be able to contribute on the wing next season.
Wainright had a season high 45 points in a game that lasted five overtimes in November. He topped 20 points in three other games.
“I did a lot this season,” Wainright said. “I was a playmaker. I tried to score, to rebound and do everything my coaches asked me to do. I basically tried to be a baby LeBron James. That’s what some people called me.”
Furr described Wainright as “dependable” and “the most mature player on our team.” He expects Wainright to make a quick transition to his new team.
Wainright is certainly ready to get started.
“I don’t know if anyone has been more excited to wear purple,” Furr said. “He already has a lot of pride in the program. He is very honored to be there and we are excited for him.”
Wainright becomes the fourth member of K-State’s 2017 recruiting class, joining center Levi Stockard, forward Nigel Shadd and guard Mike McGuirl. K-State coach Bruce Weber has one open scholarship remaining, which he has said he would like to use on an experienced power forward.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett