Nov. 13, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona head men's basketball coach Lute Olson announced Wednesday that three student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend the school and play basketball. The trio will report to the school in the fall of 2003.
Ndudi Ebi, Mustafa Shakur and Kirk Walters each inked letters-of-intent during the first day of the November early signing period. Each player is ranked among the top 20 nationally at his position and in the top 100 nationally. Two of the recruits are ranked among the nation's top 10.
"We're very excited about this class," said Olson. "All three are outstanding people, excellent students and very good basketball players. They will have an immediate impact on our program and fit in nicely with the departure of three seniors from this year's team."
Ebi, a 6-foot-8 192-pound forward from Houston, Texas, is ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in the country by foxsports.com's Frank Burlison. Ebi, who preps at Westbury Christain High School, is a long and athletic player with an especially strong presence on the defensive end. His offensive game continues to develop, as he averaged 20.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in summer league action.
Ebi, who is listed as the No. 1 player at his position nationally by Burlison, came into his own last summer by averaging 20.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in summer league action, including strong performances at the Nike All-America Camp and the Peach Jam.
"Ndudi is an extremely gifted basketball player who has great desire and work ethic," said UA assistant coach Josh Pastner, Ebi's lead recruiter. "We are very excited to add him to the program."
Shakur, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound point guard from Wynnewood, Pa., is ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect by Burlisonand nation's top point guard. Shakur, who preps at Friends Central High School, averaged 18.5 points per game last year. He is an excellent ball handler, shooter and passer with a strong work ethic.
"Mustafa is a true point guard that has great leadership skills and strong floor presence," said UA assistant coach Rodney Tention, Shakur's lead recruiter. "He does a great job of getting others involved. Mustafa is a special kid that is all about team. He'll step right in to that Arizona point guard legacy."
Walters, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound center from Grand Rapids, Mich., is ranked as the No. 20 center in the nation by ESPN.com's Mark Mayemura and the No. 80 overall recruit by foxsports.com, Walters, who preps at South Christian High School, runs the floor well and has great hands. Walters has excellent potential, as seen by his solid performance at the adidas Big Time Tournament.
"Kirk has a tremendous upside," said UA assistant coach Josh Pastner, Walters' lead recruiter. "He has the ability to be a very, very good player for us. We feel like we signed a kid who's long-term potential is unlimited."
The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls, opens the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 23 against No. 20 Western Kentucky. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. MST.