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Five-star Mohamed Bamba picks Texas over Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Michigan’s long pursuit of Mohamed Bamba came up short.

The Wolverines were one of four programs in the running for the five-star center from Westtown, Pa., but Bamba picked Texas over Michigan, Kentucky and Duke.

Mohamed Bamba

Bamba (6-11, 215) announced his decision Thursday in a first-person story for the Players’ Tribune.

Bamba explained his relationship with Texas coach Shaka Smart as well as the school’s academics and alumni networks, and the Longhorns’ training program were among the biggest factors that influenced his decision.

"Everybody’s recruiting process is unique in some way, and mine was no different," Bamba wrote. "... The world is bigger than 94 by 50 feet, and we all agreed that Texas offers me an exceptional opportunity to blaze my own trail on the basketball front with the comfort of knowing that no matter what happens, I’ve got an unrivaled support network to lean on for whenever the ball stops bouncing."

Bamba is ranked the No. 2 player in the nation in the 2017 class by and was one of the few top uncommitted prospects in the country before Thursday.

Bamba would’ve been the crown jewel of Michigan’s incoming class, joining guards Eli Brooks and Jordan Poole and forward Isaiah Livers.

However, the Wolverines were considered a long shot to land Bamba, a likely one-and-done prospect, and have no available scholarships after landing Ohio grad transfer Jaaron Simmons and awaiting NBA draft decisions from D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner.

For Michigan, it’s not the last it will see of Bamba. The Wolverines will travel to Texas to face the Longhorns in nonconference play this season.

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