ESPN No. 4 ranked high school senior and Oregon commit Bol Bol said he’s ok with being cut from last summer’s U19 US World Cup team by Kentucky coach John Calipari.
“I wasn’t really mad about it,” Bol told USA Today. “Everyone thinks I’m mad about it, but I wasn’t.”
But Bol said he still doesn’t know why he didn’t make the squad.
“I still wonder why he cut me, but I’ll never know,” said Bol. “I could have stayed to ask, but at that point I was like, ‘it’s not going to change,’ so I just left.”
“I feel like (Calipari) kind of avoided that whole situation [on my September Kentucky visit], but I just forgot about it,” added Bol.
There had been speculation that the issue had helped cause Bol to sign with Oregon instead of Kentucky.
Bol Bol, a 7-2 center, averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds last season for Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA).
He also had a monster summer, averaging 24.1 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in only 28.2 minutes for the Nike EYBL’s Cal Supreme, when he was named the league’s regular-season MVP.
Bol’s father Manute played in the NBA for 10 seasons, and at 7-6 was one of the tallest players in league history.
Former NBA big man and current Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said he loves Bol’s versatile game.
“Bol has a unique skill set for his size,” Manning, who played against his father Manute in the NBA, told SI.com. “He’s capable of stepping out on the perimeter and making shots, and his length gives him a chance to do things at the rim that surprise you.”
“He has really soft hands … and he has more ballhandling capabilities than he’s showing,” Manning added. “On the EYBL circuit he was on the perimeter more, putting it down a little bit. That’s not something Nutie [Manute] used to do.”
Scout’s Evan Daniels said Bol is a dominating big man with unlimited potential.
“He has taken a big leap forward in his offensive development and his confidence,” wrote Daniels. “He blocks shots, rebounds, has a ton of offensive potential, great hands, a nice shooting touch and runs to the rim. Any time you’ve got a guy with this many tools at 7-2, he’s an elite prospect. And he’s only going to get better as he gets stronger.”
Bol has transferred to Findlay Prep (NV) for his senior season.
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