Five-star SG Hamidou Diallo commits to UK, will enroll early


John Calipari looks towards the bench during Big Blue Madness on Friday, October 14, 2016 in Lexington, Ky.

Kernel Sports Staff

After picking up another five-star player in 6’8’’ power forward Jared Vanderbilt last week, UK basketball and coach John Calipari have now added five-star Hamidou Diallo to its 2017 class. But what is different about this commitment by Diallo is that it could have an immediate impact as the 6’5’’ shooting guard from Queens, NY, is set to enroll early in the program.

Diallo is the top shooting guard in the class for 2017 according to, and is a five-star prospect on nearly every major recruiting website.  

Diallo’s recruitment has been one that has gained a lot of attention recently when he was declared to be eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft because he had already finished high school and is currently attending Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut for a post-grad year. Not only that, but up until late Monday, all signs were pointing to Diallo enrolling in UConn at the beginning of next semester and playing for the Huskies this season. As those reports were gaining traction, Diallo tweeted last Monday night, Dec. 26, that he was on his official visit to UK, cancelled all of his remaining visits and committed to Calipari and the Cats on Saturday.

With Diallo committing and enrolling early, the Cats now have another versatile guard at their disposal to go alongside Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. And due to his size, Diallo could allow Calipari to play a four-guard lineup, especially because of the struggles at the four-position in recent weeks.

After averaging 18.6 points per game in the elite Nike EYBL league last summer and averaging 21.5 PPG at the prestigious Peach Jam tournament, it is no secret that Diallo is one of the better players in his class. And while he may not play much for the Cats this season, Diallo could still leave for the draft.

However, if Diallo chooses to stay for a full year in 2017-18, he will be playing alongside fellow five-stars Quade Green, Nick Richards, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt, and four-star Shai Alexander. And what once looked like it could’ve been a down year in teams of recruiting for UK now looks like one of Calipari’s better classes. And on top of all that, five-star center Mohamed Bamba, who is considering UK, is yet to decide.