Former Guyer Star Jalen Wilson Switches to Kansas

Former Guyer Star Jalen Wilson Switches to Kansas

Former Guyer Star Jalen Wilson Switches to Kansas

by Steve Gamel

Former Guyer star Jalen Wilson appeared to be on cloud nine back in November when he signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Michigan. He had just narrowed down his college choices from six schools to one by picking the Wolverines, and in doing so became one of the program’s highest-rated commits.

Well, so much for that. Following the surprise departure of Michigan coach John Beilein, who left to become the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wilson decided Michigan was no longer the right fit and signed with Kansas.

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Wilson felt blindsided by Beilein’s decision to leave. He requested his release from Michigan in May and by June had signed a new national letter of intent with the Jayhawks.

Incidentally, Kansas was one of the Top 6 schools on Wilson’s radar back in November.

“I’m very excited about Jalen’s commitment to us,” Kansas coach Bill Self was quoted as saying in the Denton Record-Chronicle article on June 12. “He’s been a Kansas fan for the vast majority of his young life and is certainly a guy who is used to winning after being a part of a great high school program at John H. Guyer High School. He will bring great size, skill and versatility playing
both as a big and a small, but more importantly he’ll bring incredible toughness.”

Wilson averaged just more than 18 points per game and 7.5 rebounds in his final year at Guyer and is the No. 44 player in 247Sports’ class of 2019 rankings.

He was instrumental in creating a winning culture for a Guyer basketball program that has quickly become one of the more dominant teams in Class 6A. Alongside De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma), JaKobe Coles, and others, Wilson helped the Wildcats advance to back-to-back regional finals in his final two seasons. Including this past season, the Wildcats are an eye-popping 125-16 since 2016.

Now that Wilson is a Jayhawk, the DRC’s article also pointed out that this means he’ll match up against Harmon and the Sooners at least twice next season since both are in the Big 12. Kansas and Oklahoma split last year’s series. Kansas will be looking for its first national title since 2008.

“We missed out on the opportunity to sign Jalen the first time around when he committed to Michigan,” Self said in the DRC article. “He’d been up here to campus and was a guy we were very interested in, but he made another decision. When coach [John] Beilein left for the NBA and they asked for the release, that opened up the opportunity for us to try again and to get it right, even though it was the second time around.”

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