The University of Oregon’s vision convinced Bol Bol to forgo his longtime basketball dream.
The high school star and son of former NBA giant Manute Bol announced Monday on The Players’ Tribune that he’ll attend Oregon with hopes of continuing his personal development and taking his basketball career and the university’s program to a higher level.
Bol had hoped for many years to play for the University of Kentucky and head coach John Calipari, but his recruiting trip to Oregon and meetings with head coach Dana Altman and assistant coach Tony Stubblefield changed his mind.
“It came down to Oregon and Kentucky,” Bol writes.
” … But it was really those first few meetings with Coach Stubblefield that impressed me the most. He was accessible. He got to know me. He was really real with me.
In addition to the meshing of personalities, Bol explains how Oregon’s plans for him made perfect basketball sense.
“I felt like the whole coaching staff knew my game,” he writes. ” … Both Coach Altman and Coach Stubblefield broke down why my style is a bit different from just any other big man. I’m tall (obviously), but I’m not my dad. He was a true big man, a guy who played in the paint and blocked shots. But I like to work from the perimeter.”
Oregon’s affiliation with Nike was another factor that swayed Bol (an admitted sneakerhead) to the school.
“Shoes lined up on chairs (in Oregon’s Phil Knight room),” he writes. “Custom Oregon colorway Jordans. Like 13 different jersey combinations. Nike stuff that hasn’t come out yet. … I was going crazy in there, man.”
Finally, Oregon’s strong social media presence was a clincher for Bol.
“I like to connect with people, have fun,” Bol writes. “It’s allowed me to meet so many new people … and also made the world feel smaller. I loved that Oregon and the athletics program want to have their own style and their own identity. I feel the same way.”
That’s how Oregon overcame its historic disadvantages in basketball to net one of the most sought-after recruits of the class of 2018.
Thumbnail photo via Casey Sapio/USA TODAY Sports Images
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