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Guard James Bouknight commits to Connecticut Huskies

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First-year Connecticut coach Dan Hurley scored an important verbal commitment Tuesday, with four-star guard James Bouknight pledging to the Huskies on his 18th birthday.

The commitment comes less than three days after he completed his official visit to UConn after having previously visited Virginia Tech and Miami officially in recent weeks.

Bouknight, ranked 87th in the ESPN 100, was sidelined by injury last spring but was nonetheless an immediate priority for Hurley and his staff when they arrived in Storrs.

The 6-foot-4 guard rejoined his PSA Cardinals AAU program in time for the EYBL Finals in July and continued to emerge through the remainder of the recruiting period with strong performances in Pennsylvania and Las Vegas.

"I had already built a relationship with [assistant] Coach Kimani [Young] when he was at Minnesota and that continued when he came to UConn with Coach Hurley," Bouknight told ESPN. "He stayed in touch with me throughout my injury process and that meant a lot to me and my family. We trusted him.

"Then when I got a chance to build a relationship with Coach Hurley, his track record and pedigree as a coach, along with UConn's winning tradition and history of putting guys in the NBA, it was all I wanted in my college choice."

imageJames Bouknight has committed to UConn after taking official visits to Virginia Tech and Miami. Courtesy: Jon Lopez

Bouknight becomes the first player to commit to Hurley in the Class of 2019 and is an ideal first piece for numerous reasons. With Jalen Adams entering his senior season and Alterique Gilbert's history of shoulder injuries, finding an immediate impact guard capable of eventually growing into a starring role was one of UConn's top priorities.

Bouknight is a New York native now entering his second season in the New England prep ranks at the MacDuffie School in Massachusetts. His commitment will give the Huskies a boost of momentum in the Northeast region, where they are also targeting fellow ESPN 100 products Precious Achiuwa, Kofi Cockburn, Akok Akok, and Tre Mitchell, Al-Amir Dawes and Jalen Gaffney.

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Saturday, 20 October 2018