SACO — JB Estrella, the 6-foot-11 heart 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 determination 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 wish to go away,” Estrella mentioned. “It was like, ‘Is it actually time to go? After that, I used to be like, ‘I feel that is undoubtedly going to be the place for me.
Estrella was a Varsity Maine All-State choose 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 probably be heading to Brewster’s Academy of Prep Basketball Power in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, in his senior 12 months 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 laborious 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 mentioned. “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 type and Barnes’ historical past of teaching huge males who’re dynamic offensive gamers, together with Kevin Durant on the College of Texas.
“They’re at all times an offensive power and a defensive power as properly. They received the SEC championship final 12 months, and they’ll win it once more this 12 months,” Estrella mentioned. I hope a couple of extra years once I get there.”
Syracuse and Iowa, two faculties the place he additionally made state visits, have been the final of the three Estrella faculties. 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 mother and father, 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 mentioned Estrella may play “finally” on the SEC on account of his ocean-going talents, per put up, and the power to run the sphere “like a deer”.
“I feel he can be an influential man in Tennessee,” Crotty mentioned. “Ten years in the past, I did not assume we might have anybody within the NBA. … I do not assume there are any limits to JP. He’ll should work. The position. However I feel the sky is the restrict for him.”
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