The rich just keep on getting richer. John Calipari displayed that his recruiting process literally has no physical boundaries as recruiting king netted his Kentucky Wildcats their first Class of 2016 commitment from Down Under.
According to Verbal Commits, Tai Wynyard, the New Zealand native committed to play for the Wildcats earlier this week. Wynyard, a 6-9 power forward, is set to have his 17th birthday in the upcoming week and looks to be celebrating the opportunity to play for Big Blue Nation.
“They are going to push you to their max no matter who you are or what you do. If you are the best player in the country or the world, they’re going to push you. That’s the thing that really got to me. No other college really said that to me, and that’s why I chose them.” Wynyard stated in his commitment to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Wynyard had additionally visited both Texas and Villanova in a recent trip the United States, before settling on the Kentucky Wildcats. Wynyard looks to follow in the footsteps of fellow Kiwi big man Steven Adams, who excelled under the watch of Jamie Dixon and the Pittsburgh Panthers before becoming an impact player in the NBA. Though Wynyard does not quite have the height of Adams (7-0), he has already drawn comparisons to Turkish national and Utah jazz forward Enes Kanter, who also committed to Kentucky before heading to the NBA (though he never suited up for UK due to NCAA sanctions).
Though not much is known about Wynyard’s basketball ability due to both his youth and location, reports say that he is a force on the boards with a raw offensive post game. He impressed in very limited minutes at the Jordan Brand International All-Star Game last year, scoring two points on his only FG attempt and grabbing one rebound. Wynyard is also the youngest player to play for the Tall Blacks, the New Zealand national squad and plays on the New Zealand Breakers development squad.
Wynyard may be the first 2016 commitment for Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, but I’m sure we can expect to Coach Cal to quickly add to an already talent laden roster.
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