Virginia enters the 2019-20 hoops season as defending national champions and head coach Tony Bennett is still going hard as he’s accrued a treasure chest of new recruits to keep the Cavaliers at the top of the ACC and college basketball world.
Bennett has already gotten commitments from three blue chippers in the 2020 class. The most popular recruit is Jabri Abdur-Rahim, who announced his decision on Twitter Wednesday. The combination of Abdur-Rahim, Reece Beekman and Carson McCorkle gives Bennett the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, according to some publications.
The small forward is the son of former NBA All-star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who was a one and done NBA Draft pick in 1996, coming out of Cal. The 6-foot-10 center/power forward was also the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft and a member of one of the strongest high school classes ever in 1995.
1995 high school basketball class: Kevin Garnett Stephon Marbury Ron Mercer Robert Traylor Shareef Abdur-Rahim Vince Carter Paul Pierce Antwan Jamison Mark Blount Chauncey Billups Shamgod Wells Antonio Smith Nazr Mohammed Ricky Moore Terrance Roberson Doug Gottlieb
Shareef battled through injuries to have a solid 12-year pro career averaging 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds and is currently President of the NBA’s G-League.
He was also the director of player personnel for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the general manager of the Reno Bighorns, the Kings’ minor-league affiliate.
Jabri is also considered a 4-star talent, rated the No. 11 player in the country at his position and the No. 44 overall player in the 2020 class, per 247Sports. Hoop insiders say he’s the most college ready of all the prized recruits.
Abdur-Rahim’s scoring prowess has been a highlight of his AAU circuit as he’s leading all scorers in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League—the series of top-flight travel-team tournament.
5⭐️ recruit Jabri Abdur-Rahim (@jabri404) made a STRONG case for @Top100Camp MVP, finishing the week as the leading scorer @ 17 ppg & 50% from the 3pt line. #40BallBri #ProTools https://t.co/wWz9DoKtwG
“I felt most comfortable with the staff and I felt they would best prepare me to win on the college level and achieve my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA,” Abdur-Rahim said, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN
A product of New Jersey’s Blair Academy, Abdur-Rahim picked UVA over Michigan and more than 30 other offers, including prestigious Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Texas, USC, and Villanova.
He is a natural scorer at all three levels in the mold of former Cavaliers star DeAndre Hunter, who was selected No. 4 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by Atlanta.