BY LARRY VAUGHT
With R.J. Barrett reclassifying to the 2018 recruiting class, it would not be a huge step to see forward Charles Bassey become the consensus No. 1 player in the 2019 class.
He’s already a consensus top five pick in the 2019 class — and this season he will be playing in Kentucky.
He’s left St. Anthony Catholic High School in Texas along with three teammates to play at Aspire Academy, a new school in Louisville coached by Jeremy Kipness. Last year Aspire was located in Arizona but it is now in Louisville and affiliated with DeSales High School.
The 6-10, 220-pound Bassey is from Nigeria originally. He’s played for Adidas YES II Success along with several of his new Aspire teammates.
Bassey already has scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor, Tennessee, Washington, UCLA, T, Creighton, Western Kentucky and others. ESPN has him ranked No. 2 in the 2019 recruiting class. Rivals.com has him No. 1.
Kipness knows how good Bassey is now, and can be in the future.
“Right now he has such a solid foundation and skill set to go along with a God-given athleticism and physique,” Kipness, a former assistant coach at Louisville, said. “He embraces the grind. He is very coachable. There are a lot of talented players but they do not have the intangibles — but he does. He has God-given talent and a high ceiling for the future.”
Bassey made an unofficial visit to Kentucky last season but still has no scholarship offer. He’ll play in three Grind Session events in Kentucky — two in Marshall County and one in Paducah — this season along with other selected games.