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Mohamed Bamba commits to Texas as its biggest basketball recruit since Kevin Durant

The 5-star center is going to Texas.

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns have made the biggest recruiting splash of the Shaka Smart era. Mohamed Bamba, a 7-foot center from Harlem, committed to Texas over Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan on Thursday morning. He made the announcement on The Players Tribune.

Bamba is rated as the No. 3 player in the class of 2017. He’s known for his length, shot blocking, and finishing ability. With a 7’9 wingspan, Bamba has been measured with longer arms than any player currently in the NBA. His stay at Texas will be short. DraftExpress projects Bamba as the No. 4 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

We first profiled Bamba in Oct. 2015.

Bamba is now the headliner of a big-time recruiting class at Texas, joining four-star point guard Matt Coleman as well as fellow top-100 prospects Jericho Sims and Royce Hamm. Bamba will take over the center spot from Jarrett Allen, who bolted to the NBA and is projected as a possible lottery pick.

Texas finished only 11-22 last season, but the commitment of Bamba feels like one that could change the program. He is a ready-made stud as a defender and should be the program’s biggest star since Kevin Durant in 2007.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman also reported combo guard Andrew Jones is leaning toward returning to Texas. Jones was a McDonald’s All-American in 2016 and could be poised for a breakthrough season as a sophomore.