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 school 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 resolution 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 feel that is positively 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 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 throughout 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 workers think about him a “nice participant who makes play,” “if I maintain working arduous he can positively 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 stated. “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 fashion and Barnes’ historical past of teaching large males who’re dynamic offensive gamers, together with Kevin Durant on the College of Texas.
“They’re all the time an offensive power and a defensive power as effectively. They received the SEC championship final yr, and they’ll win it once more this yr,” Estrella stated. I hope just a few extra years after I get there.”
Syracuse and Iowa, two faculties the place he additionally made state visits, had been the final of the three Estrella faculties. 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 stay 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 embody NBA gamers Pat Connaughton, Duncan Robinson, and freshman Dom Campbell of Scarborough at 6-foot-9. Crotty stated Estrella might play “finally” on the SEC because of his ocean-going skills, per put up, and the flexibility to run the sector “like a deer”.
“I feel he could 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 must work. The position. However I feel the sky is the restrict for him.”
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