The latest addition to Oregon’s freshman class is a five-star center.
N’Faly Dante, a 6-foot-11, 230-pounder from Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan., made a verbal commitment to the Ducks on Tuesday morning in a story written on The Players Tribune. He was ranked as a top-15 prospect in the Class of 2020, but will reclassify to join the Ducks for this upcoming men's basketball season.
Dante, a native of Mali, Africa, who arrived in the U.S. nearly four years ago, picked Oregon over schools including Kentucky, Michigan State, LSU and Kansas. Dante’s announcement came in the form of a letter written to his mother in Africa.
“Throughout this process, it’s been important to me to choose a place that I know you’d be proud of,” he wrote. “A place where I will get a strong education and that has a family atmosphere. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and I’m excited to tell you that next year I’m going to be attending college and playing basketball at the University of Oregon. Oregon has a program that reflects a lot of the values you taught me when I was growing up.”
Dante is considered an elite defender and shot-blocker whose offensive games is improving.
He was named the most valuable player at the Peach Jam when he had 22 points and 18 rebounds in the title game to lead Mokan Elite to a championship. He averaged 18.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in six games at the elite showcase event.
After Oregon had just six players on scholarship for next year when Kenny Wooten, Bol Bol and Louis King left early to turn pro, UO coach Dana Altman has added two transfers and two freshmen following the season who can play next year.
Oregon has 12 players on scholarship, one shy of the NCAA limit, with 10 players eligible for next year.
Dante will join sophomore Francis Okoro in the frontcourt along with freshmen C.J. Walker, Chandler Lawson and Lok Wur. The Ducks also added 6-7 forward Shakur Juiston, a graduate transfer from UNLV.
Point guards Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson return. Newcomers in the backcourt are junior-college transfer Chris Duarte and grad transfer Anthony Mathis from New Mexico.
Eric Williams, a transfer from Duquesne, and Eugene Omoruyi, a transfer from Rutgers, will have to sit out next year unless they receive a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately.