SACO — JB Estrella, the 6-foot-11 middle who led South Portland Excessive to the state’s first boys’ basketball match in 30 years, introduced Friday that he’ll play faculty 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 asserting his determination to permit household and coaches to be part of the announcement, which passed off at XL Sports activities World.
“That go to was actually the one one for me that I did not actually wish to depart,” Estrella stated. “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 will likely be heading to Brewster’s Academy of Prep Basketball Power in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, in his senior yr on Sunday. He stated 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 match final season. Coach Rick Barnes signed a contract extension till the 2026-27 season in March. Estrella stated the Tennessee employees 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 consider in Coach Barnes due to the connection I constructed with him,” Estrella stated. “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 huge 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 yr, and they’re going to win it once more this yr,” Estrella stated. I hope a couple of extra years after I get there.”
Syracuse and Iowa, two colleges the place he additionally made state visits, had been the final of the three Estrella colleges. He additionally made an official go to to Marquette and obtained gives 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 stated Estrella might play “in the end” on the SEC because of his ocean-going skills, per publish, and the flexibility to run the sector “like a deer”.
“I believe he can be an influential man in Tennessee,” Crotty stated. “Ten years in the past, I did not suppose we might 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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