College basketball recruiting: 5-star center Charles Bassey commits to Western Kentucky, reclassifies to 2018

Five-star center prospect Charles Bassey, a top-10 player in the Class of 2019, announced Wednesday that he has committed to Western Kentucky. The program announced his signing along with the news that Bassey has re-classified to the 2018 class to be eligible to play for the Hilltoppers in the upcoming college basketball season.

Bassey's commitment is a boon for Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury, who has now reeled in five-star big men in consecutive classes, the last being 2017 signee Mitchell Robinson who ultimately left the school before the season began. Bassey should be an immediate replacement to supplement the losses of seniors Dwight Coleby and Justin Johnson in WKU's stellar frontcourt that led the Hilltoppers to the semifinals of the NIT Tournament in 2017-18.

"We're happy to have Charles join our family," Stansbury said in a press release. "We're excited about the talent of basketball player he is, but most importantly, the type of person and student he is. He's a 3.9-GPA student with great character, and we look forward to having him in our program."

Though Bassey's commitment to Western Kentucky may come as a surprise, especially when considering his offer sheet that included Louisville, Baylor, Kansas, LSU and others, it always appeared as if this was the ultimate outcome for him. The Hilltoppers had long been the favorite to pluck the 6-10 center out of Louisville.

Bassey is a Nigerian native who moved to the U.S. when he was 14-years-old, and has steadily developed into a blue-chip talent in the states. He spent last season at Aspire Academy in Louisville, and averaged 19.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game only a year after being ruled ineligible for the entirety of the season at San Antonio's St. Anthony Catholic High School. 

Bassey's re-classicaton to 2018 makes him eligible to enter the 2019 NBA Draft, where he could potentially be a first-round talent.

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