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KU basketball recruiting target Zeke Nnaji receives scholarship offer from Kentucky

Zeke Nnaji is one of the top frontcourt prospects in the class of 2019.
Zeke Nnaji is one of the top frontcourt prospects in the class of 2019. USA Basketball

Kansas basketball recruiting target Zeke Nnaji, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound senior forward from Hopkins (Minn.) High, received a scholarship offer from Kentucky on Sunday, he reported on Twitter.

Nnaji — he received a KU offer on Aug. 8 — was to meet with coaches from Kentucky and Kansas on Sunday, the first day of the 2018-19 school year college coaches could make in-home visits with prospects.

Nnaji, the No. 34-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, has also been offered by Kansas State, Purdue, Minnesota, Arizona, Ohio State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa, Baylor, Xavier, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Georgetown and others, according to 247sports.com.

“I haven’t narrowed anything down yet. I’m still examining what everyone has to say,” Nnaji told 247sports.com in a recent interview. “I haven’t visited everywhere (unofficially) I would like to. I want to get to Georgetown, Baylor, Kansas, and Kentucky and once I do that and finish up with home visits, I’ll be able to narrow it down to some officials.”

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He averaged 19.9 points a game last season for Hopkins High (26-2).

“I love the progression that Nnaji has made within the past 12 months,” Rivals.com’s Corey Evans told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “He has grown over three inches and his value as a frontcourt defender cannot be overstated. He has an above 7-foot wingspan, instincts, and excellent lateral skills in guarding far and close to the basket and, best of all, properly switching out top in defending the ball screen.

“Offensively, Nnaji can play the 4 or the 5. He has to get stronger and tougher but the physical tangibles are all there. He can shoot, but also has a set of counters in the post. He can also play in bigger lineups as a high-low threat as a passer and shooter. In all, he is one of the better upside forward prospects in America.”

KU coach Bill Self, Kentucky’s Calipari and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski also were slated to meet with Nnaji’s D1 Minnesota AAU teammate, Matthew Hurt, on Sunday. Hurt, a 6-9 senior forward from John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., is the No. 5-ranked player in the Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com. Coaches from North Carolina, Villanova and Minnesota were expected to visit the Hurt household Monday, followed by coaches from Memphis on Tuesday and Indiana on Sept. 17.

Meanwhile, KU recruiting target Samuell Williamson, a 6-7 senior small forward from Rockwall (Texas) High, who is rated No. 35 in the recruiting class of 2019 by Rivals.com, completed his weekend recruiting visit to Texas A&M on Sunday. After that, he was to entertain Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger on an in-home visit Sunday night, according to Rivals.com.

Williamson has also set visits to Louisville (Sept. 14-16), Oklahoma (Sept. 21-23) and Texas Tech (Oct. 5-7). He visited KU on Aug. 31-Sept. 2.

Gary Bedore

Gary Bedore covers University of Kansas athletics for The Star.

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