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4-star Papa Kante talks Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Maryland

On3 imageby:Jamie Shaw08/11/22


Papa Kante jumped to the No. 32 player in On3’s 2023 rankings. The burly 6-foot-10 Kante averaged 10 points, 9.3-rebounds, and 1.6-blocks per game throughout Nike’s EYBL Circuit.

After Peach Jam ended, Kante went home to Senegal for a couple of weeks to visit with his family. On3 caught up with Papa Kante while on his trip to see where things are at with his recruitment.

“I took four official visits, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh,” Kante said. “I’m not sure if I’ll take any more visits when I come back; I may visit all four again to know them more. I am not for sure yet.”

Kante talks recruiting

“All four schools have great facilities,” Kante said. “I really loved all of them; they are a family.”

Michigan: “I talk with Coach Juwan Howard. I have a great relationship with coach Howard; he’s texting me after every game and before games, good game or bad game. I still talk to him now, even though I’m back home (in Africa). I talked to Moussa Diabaté on the phone during my visit there. He was at pre-draft and told me how Michigan helped him to get better Coach Howard played in the league for 20 years and knows what’s takes to get there. They say they’re going to play me like they did Moussa or like Bam Adebayo. They said they’re going to let me shoot it, and they keep telling me how they will put me in a great position to succeed in life.”

Rutgers: “I talk a lot with Coach T.J. Thompson; we have a good relationship. He’s been recruiting me for a year now; he keeps telling me he wants to coach me. Coach (Steve) Pikiell tells me how much he wants to coach me. They say they will let me play through mistakes, and if Cliff Omoruyi leaves, they will need me to come in and step up. They like how I rebound and block shots, and they will let me shoot some threes.”

Maryland: “Coach (Kevin) Williard and Coach Grant (Bilimeier) are the coaches I talk to most. They tell me they see me having a big impact in my freshman year. They’ll want me to play as a power forward on offense and switch me across multiple defensive positions. They love how hard I play and a good teammate I am. I have a good relationship with all the staff.”

Pittsburgh: “They expect me to come and play. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff. Coach (Gilbert) Brown is my guy; he was our assistant coach at South Kent school my first year there and went to Pittsburgh last year. Coach (Jeff) Capel is a great guy; he texts me and calls constantly. He told me he’ll play me as a power forward, and they’ll help me keep getting better.”

Kante’s take

“I don’t have a top four schools yet,” Kante said. “Any school can still jump in at any time because I’m looking for a place to help me get better and reach my goals.

“I will be looking for a family where I can call home because I’m an international student. I’ll look at where they can develop me and help me to get better on and off the court. The relationship with the coaching staff will be big.

“The style of play will matter too. I can guard all five positions and want to do that at the highest levels. In the school I choose, I want to be able to develop my skill set, outside and inside. Playing time matters for sure. All four programs tell me if I put in the work and keep playing hard and competing, I will be able to make an impact in my freshman year.”

On Memphis

*Andy Borman coached Papa Kante with the NY Rens. Bormanwas hired to be an assistant coach with Memphis earlier this week..

“I played for Coach Andy (Borman), and we have a great relationship. He’s a very good coach but an even better person. If he chose to go to Memphis, they must be good people down there. He deserves everything he has because he cares about his players and has your back on and off the court. I don’t know much about the program as they weren’t recruiting me, but I’ll look forward to seeing if they reach out.

“My family and I are very far along into our decision, but I’ll discuss everything with my family to see what’s best for me.”