UCLA Bruins offers a Top-5 Recruit to play on their team

Kwame Evans Jr
Photo by David Rosenblum

Power forward Kwame Evans Jr. picked up an offer from UCLA men’s basketball on Monday night, he announced on Twitter.

Evans has offers from Auburn, Kentucky, Maryland, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, LSU, Memphis, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee and a dozen other Division I programs, with Duke, Kansas and USC making contact as well.

The 6-foot-9 big man has already a visit to Kentucky and is also planning to visit Oregon, Indiana and Texas, but said he isn’t going to cut down his list after his high school season ends.

Evans is the cousin of a former San Diego State freshman, now a UTEP Miner, Che Evans. In addition, his father Kwame Evans Sr. was a standout at George Washington in the ’90s. He plays his basketball for Team Durant on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Originally from Baltimore, Evans transferred to Montverde Academy (FL) last summer, joining a program that has produced Joel Embiid, Cade Cunningham, D’Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons, RJ Barrett and former UCLA wing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Evans also plays his AAU ball for Team Durant in the Nike EYBL circuit.

Evans is a five-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, Rivals and ESPN. The 247Sports Composite and ESPN both have Evans ranked as the No. 1 player in Florida, No. 1 power forward and No. 2 overall player in the country, while Rivals has him listed as the No. 4 prospect in his class.

Last AAU season, Evans averaged roughly 14 points and 8 rebounds per game, in addition to over 1 steal and more than 1 block. Evans has routinely shot in the mid-to-high 30 percents from 3, and he attempts plenty of triples even with his long frame.

Evans drilled a clutch 3-pointer in the final seconds of No. 5 Montverde’s game against No. 2 IMG on Jan. 17, but he called a timeout right after when his team didn’t have any, leading to a technical foul and game-sealing free throws for his opponent.

Evans has been heralded as a positionless future star on both ends of the floor, boasting the skills to handle, shoot, pass, rebound and block the ball.

UCLA has 15 offers out for class of 2023 prospects, and 10 of the players on the receiving end of those offers are rated as five-star recruits. Coach Mick Cronin didn’t bring a single five-star recruit across his first two cycles – coming to Westwood after most top 2019 prospects were off the board and losing Daishen Nix to the G League in 2020 – but he signed guard/forward Peyton Watson in 2021 and guard Amari Bailey and center Adem Bona in 2022.

Shawn Stewart is the Founder/CEO of Sports 4 America; Shawn Stewart also hosts The Shawn Stewart Sports Podcast and also Play-By-Play announcer for the Detroit Hustle of The Basketball League, you can follow him on Twitter @S4AStewart

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