By Brian Penso
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday November 14, 2002
Mustafa Shakur signed with Arizona for one reason ÷ to become another talented point guard in the long line of stars under head coach Lute Olson.
Yesterday, Arizona got the official letter-of-intent from the nation's No. 1 point guard recruit during the first day of the November early signing period.
Friends Central H.S.
No. 4 national prospect
Westbury Christian H.S.
No. 2 national prospect
20.3 ppg, 10.8 reb
South Christian H.S.
Grand Rapids, MI
No. 20 center overall
Centennial High School
Las Vegas, NV
Foothills High School
|member of the junior U.S. Team
Arizona also received letters-of-intent from forward Ndudi Ebi and center Kirk Walters.
"We're very excited about this class," head coach Lute Olson said. "All three are 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."
Shakur, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound point guard from Wynnewood, Pa., averaged 18.5 points per game last year for Friends Central High School and is the fourth overall recruiting prospect in the country, according to Foxsports.com's Frank Burlison.
"Mustafa is a true point guard that has great leadership skills and strong floor presence," Arizona assistant coach Rodney Tention said. "He does a great job getting others involved. Mustafa is a special kid that is all about the team. He'll step right into that Arizona point guard legacy."
Shakur narrowed his choices down to UA and North Carolina State, but decided to become a Wildcat in the end.
"I like everything about UA," Shakur said. "They have great tradition and a coaching staff that really improves their players."
Joining Shakur as a top 10 recruit is Ebi, a 6-foot-8, 192-pound forward from Houston.
Ebi is ranked the top forward and the No. 2 prospect overall in the country by Burlison.
"Ndudi is an extremely gifted basketball player," assistant coach Josh Pastner said. "He has great desire and work ethic. We are very excited to add him to the program."
Before Ebi announced his decision, he sat down with his mother, Elizabeth Ndudi ,and asked her for some advice.
"I love Arizona," Elizabeth Ndudi said. "I told him to go where he wants, but he asked me. I like the program and coach Olson. When he made his decision, I was so happy. Arizona was my No. 1 choice."
With the departure of senior frontcourt starters Luke Walton and Rick Anderson, recruiting Ebi along with current freshman Andre Iguodala will give Arizona a dynamic, athletic front court for years to come.
Arizona's last recruit, Walters, will add another big body who can run the floor.
Walters, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound center from Grand Rapids, Mich., is ranked as the 20th center in the nation by ESPN.com's Mark Mayemura and the No. 80 overall recruit by Foxsports.com.
"Kirk has a tremendous upside," Pastner said. "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."