Tennessee college basketball recruit JP Estrella

JP Estrella wears a College of Tennessee hat as he publicizes his verbal dedication to enjoying basketball for the Vols on Friday. With him is his mom, Allie, brother, Cameron, and Middlesex Magic coach Michael Crotty. Steve Craig footage

SACO — JB Estrella, the 6-foot-11 middle who led South Portland Excessive to the state’s first boys’ basketball event in 30 years, introduced Friday that he’ll play school basketball on the College of Tennessee.

Estrella mentioned he knew Tennessee was the place earlier than he left for his official go to to the Knoxville campus in June. He was late in asserting his resolution to permit household and coaches to be part of the announcement, which occurred at XL Sports activities World.

“That go to was actually the one one for me that I did not actually need to depart,” Estrella mentioned. “It was like, ‘Is it actually time to go? After that, I used to be like, ‘I believe that is positively going to be the place for me.

Estrella was a Varsity Maine All-State decide after averaging 20.2 factors and 11.8 rebounds final winter in his junior season in South Portland. He turns 18 on Saturday and can be heading to Brewster’s Academy of Prep Basketball Power in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, in his senior yr on Sunday. He mentioned he would make his dedication to a Tennessee official by signing a nationwide letter of intent through the early signing interval from November 9-16.

Tennessee received the Southeast Convention event final season. Coach Rick Barnes signed a contract extension till the 2026-27 season in March. Estrella mentioned the Tennessee workers think about him a “nice participant who makes play,” “if I hold working onerous he can positively contact the bottom as a freshman.

“Coach Barnes believes in that imaginative and prescient for me and I imagine in Coach Barnes due to the connection I constructed with him,” Estrella mentioned. “I had nice relationships with the opposite colleges, however I felt prefer it was household on that go to there.”

Estrella additionally loves Tennessee’s fast-paced model and Barnes’ historical past of teaching large males who’re dynamic offensive gamers, together with Kevin Durant on the College of Texas.

“They’re at all times an offensive pressure and a defensive pressure as nicely. They received the SEC championship final yr, and they’ll win it once more this yr,” Estrella mentioned. I hope just a few extra years once I get there.”

Syracuse and Iowa, two colleges the place he additionally made state visits, have been the final of the three Estrella colleges. He additionally made an official go to to Marquette and acquired presents from Duke and Kansas.

Becoming a member of Estrella on the desk for the announcement, which was broadcast dwell on 247 Sports activities, are his dad and mom, Allie and Mark Estrella, brother, Cameron, and membership coach Abi Davids of XL Thunder and Michael Crotty of Middlesex (Massachusetts) Magic.

Former Middlesex Magic gamers embody NBA gamers Pat Connaughton, Duncan Robinson, and freshman Dom Campbell of Scarborough at 6-foot-9. Crotty mentioned Estrella may play “in the end” on the SEC attributable to his ocean-going talents, per put up, and the flexibility to run the sphere “like a deer”.

“I believe he can be an influential man in Tennessee,” Crotty mentioned. “Ten years in the past, I did not suppose we would have anybody within the NBA. … I do not suppose there are any limits to JP. He’ll need to work. The function. However I believe the sky is the restrict for him.”

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