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UK Target Bol Bol Only Adds To No. 1 Findlay Prep's Talent - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

UK Target Bol Bol Only Adds To No. 1 Findlay Prep's Talent

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Bol Bol, the top center in the 2018 recruiting class, will play games at the Marshall County Hoop Fest Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. (USA Basketball Photo) Bol Bol, the top center in the 2018 recruiting class, will play games at the Marshall County Hoop Fest Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Adding a player like 7-3 Bol Bol to any team’s roster and that team is going to be better — a lot better.

Findlay Prep (Nev.) coach Paul Washington landed Bol when he decided to leave Mater Dei (Calif.) for family reasons. He’s ranked as the No. 1 center in the 2018 recruiting class and No. 3 overall player by some recruiting services. USA Today has ranked Findlay No. 1 in the nation going into the season.

Bol has been a major recruiting target of Kentucky coach John Calipari and seemed to have narrowed his college choices to Oregon or Kentucky. He did not make the USA team that Calipari coached last summer and that had hurt his standing with UK. However, Washington’s son, P.J., is a freshman at Kentucky.

Paul Washington did all he could last year to help influence Kevin Knox Jr. to sign with UK when everyone thought he was headed elsewhere. Knox, of course, signed with UK and had 20 points in the recent loss to Kansas.

“At this point I am just excited to get him on my team and I am worried about getting him acclimated to Findlay,” Washington said. “But if his family asks me any questions, I feel like I am an expert on Kentucky basketball.”

Bol shined on the Nike summer EYBL when he averaged 24.1 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.

“We just got lucky and had a scholarship available,” Washington said. “Everything fit perfectly. He has a high IQ. He really knows the game. It’s not rocket science. You have got to dribble, pass, block shots, score. He can do a lot of things.

“I obviously knew who he was. I had never had a conversation with him. I had just watched him play. He played against (Washington’s youngest son) Spencer. P.J. played in some camps with him. But I never had any real interactions with him.

“He was in great situation in California. His mother had to get back to Kansas. By leaving California, it opened up where he could go and he just fit with our roster and coaching style.”

Findlay Prep will play twice in the upcoming Marshall County Hoop Fest in Benton. Findlay will play Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) on Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. CST. On Dec. 2, Findlay will go against Aspire Academy of Louisville and top 2019 big man Charles Bassey at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Findlay Prep was 34-4 last year when P.J. Washington was the team’s star.

“We will go much deeper and will shoot the ball a lot better this year,” Paul Washington said. “We can go 10-11 deep. It’s exciting to think a can sub a 7-3 player with another 7-3 player.”

The other 7-3 player is Connor Vanover, who will play for Memphis. The roster also includes Arkansas signee Reggie Chaney, who averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per game for Findlay last year, and 6-7 Spencer Washington (10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists per game last year). Findlay has also added Texas Tech signee Kyler Edwards, a 6-4 shooting guard; Wake Forest signee Jaime Lewis, a 6-3 point guard; San Diego State commit Nathan Mensah, a 6-9 forward; and T.J. Moss, a 6-3 senior combo guard who transferred from Memphis East.

“We have 11 seniors this year,” Paul Washington said. “Bol just adds another dimension for us and gives us even more versatility.”

Hoop Fest will have some of the nation’s top teams, including No. 3 Memphis East, No.4 Oak Hill Academy (Va.), Nov. 5 Huntington Prep (W. Va.) and No. 6 Prolific Prep (Calif.).

On the girls side, Hoop Fest will have the two highest ranked teams it has ever had. Riverdale (Tenn.), a two-time defending state champion, is ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps and Mercer County, the defending Kentucky state champion, is No. 7. They will play on Dec. 3.

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