SACO — JB Estrella, the 6-foot-11 middle who led South Portland Excessive to its first boys’ basketball match in 30 years, introduced Friday that he’ll play school basketball on the College of Tennessee.
Estrella stated 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 saying his choice to permit household and coaches to be part of the announcement, which happened at XL Sports activities World.
“That go to was actually the one one for me that I did not actually wish to go away,” Estrella stated. “It was like, ‘Is it actually time to depart? After that, I used to be like, ‘I believe that is undoubtedly 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 will likely be heading to Brewster’s Academy of Prep Basketball Power in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, in his senior 12 months on Sunday. He stated he would make his dedication to a Tennessee official by signing a nationwide letter of intent throughout the early signing interval from November 9-16.
Tennessee received the Southeast Convention match final season. Coach Rick Barnes signed a contract extension till the 2026-27 season in March. Estrella stated the Tennessee workers considers him a “nice participant who makes play,” “If I maintain working exhausting, he can undoubtedly 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 stated. “I had nice relationships with the opposite faculties, however I felt prefer it was household on that go to there.”
Estrella additionally loves Tennessee’s fast-paced fashion and Barnes’ historical past of teaching massive males who’re dynamic offensive gamers, together with Kevin Durant on the College of Texas.
“They’re at all times an offensive drive and a defensive drive as nicely. They received the SEC championship final 12 months, and they’ll win it once more this 12 months,” Estrella stated. I hope a number of extra years after I get there.”
Syracuse and Iowa, two faculties the place he additionally made state visits, had been the final of the three Estrella faculties. He additionally made an official go to to Marquette and acquired provides from Duke and Kansas.
Becoming a member of Estrella on the desk for the announcement, which was broadcast stay 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 embrace NBA gamers Pat Connaughton, Duncan Robinson, and freshman Dom Campbell of Scarborough at 6-foot-9. Crotty stated Estrella might play “in the end” on the SEC because of his ocean-going skills, per publish, and the power to run the enjoying subject “like a deer”.
“I believe he could be an influential man in Tennessee,” Crotty stated. “Ten years in the past, I didn’t suppose we might have anybody within the NBA. … I don’t suppose there are any limits to JP. He must work. The position. However I do suppose the sky is the restrict for him.”
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