Kansas basketball program hosted highly coveted, Top-40 big man Adem Bona over the weekend
There was no upset or feel-good story that played out at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but the Kansas-Baylor game still had meaning.
Highly touted, Class of 2022 basketball center Adem Bona was in attendance at Saturday’s game, and the lopsided loss by the home team did nothing to dampen his spirits about the visit.
“I had a great visit to Kansas,” Bona told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com. “It was my first ever visit to a college and it was awesome.”
There was, of course, much more to Bona’s visit than the football game. The 6-foot-10, 210-pound center from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., toured campus, saw KU’s facilities and met with the coaches and current players.
“I had the chance to meet the whole coaching staff and the culture at Kansas is like one-of-a-kind,” Bona told Wildeboor. “I also had the chance to see and feel the history at Kansas, and the family atmosphere they have built at Kansas is really great. In general, I had a great visit.”
Bona trimmed his list of finalists to eight in late August, and his recruitment involves the cream of the crop in college basketball. KU, Baylor, Kentucky and UCLA are all listed in his final eight, with Arizona State, USC and Miami (Fla.) in the hunt, as well. It has been reported that Bona also is considering jumping straight to Australia’s National Basketball League the way R.J. Hampton did a couple of years ago.
Regardless of which programs stay in the hunt, it’s hard to view KU being his first visit — ever — as anything other than a good sign. It may not mean that the sixth-ranked center in the 2022 class (No. 33 overall) ultimately signs with KU, but no other program will get the opportunity to host him for the first college visit of his life. Because of that, you can bet KU’s staff did it up big and made him feel like the best player on the planet.
Whether he is or not, remains to be seen. Both 247 Sports and ESPN have Bona rated as a five-star prospect, with the latter ranking him 17th overall in the class.
According to Rivals.com’s Jamie Shaw, Bona’s strength is his defense and desire to go hard all the time.
“Bona is a big and strong prospect, who plays with a relentless motor,” Shaw wrote recently. “While his offensive game is raw, he has great timing on defense, both in the passing lanes and in blocking shots, and he is a very aggressive rebounder.”
Duke’s pickup of five-star center Dereck Lively on Monday evening likely means Kentucky will go even harder after Bona now.
John Calipari’s program had been in the final running for Lively, who is ranked as the No. 1 center in the Class of 2022, and has been in the Bona race for a long time, as well.
Bona has given no indication of when he might commit, and he still has at least three visits currently on his schedule for the upcoming weeks — Baylor this weekend, Kentucky on Oct. 15 and UCLA the following week.