Let the recruiting sweepstakes begin for Kevin Ware, who instantly became one of the nation’s top free agents in college basketball on Thursday.
On Thursday, Ware said he was granted a release from his Tennessee basketball scholarship. The 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School is ranked as the No. 56 prospect in the nation by Rivals.
Louisville, UGA, UCLA, Kansas, Georgia Tech, LSU, Florida State, Central Florida and Syracuse are rumored to have interest in Ware, who said he has yet to talk with any college coaches. Ware will begin making contact with colleges within the next few days.
However, Ware said if he had a wishlist, he’d love to take official visits to Louisville, UCLA, Georgia and Central Florida.
“I’m happy about the release and to see how my whole recruiting process will go now because I really didn’t go through it the first time,” Ware told the AJC on Thursday. “I committed to [ex-Tennessee coach] Bruce Pearl when I was a sophomore and never thought about going anywhere else until he was fired. Now I want to go the regular recruiting process and see how things go.”
Look for the college that has the coach with the most outgoing personality and charisma to have an edge with Ware. “The most important thing will be my relationship with the coach. You know, I have to feel like we have a connection. Whichever coach I get in a real good relationship with, that’s the one I am going to sign with.”
Ironically, Tennessee scored points with Ware by granting him the release on Thursday. Ware had the understanding that he would have to wait with new coach Cuonzo Martin before the Volunteers would honor his request. Ware said checked his email around 1 p.m. Thursday and had the paperwork from Tennessee.
“I’m not going to put them out of the race because they have a new coach,” Ware said. “Tennessee is a good school, besides athletics. I could see myself at Tennessee. I will meet with Coach Martin for sure.”
What about Georgia? “I’ve heard they have one scholarship open, and I’m interested if that’s true. I’d love to play with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.”
Georgia Tech? “Don’t know much about the new coach, but they are close to home and in the ACC.”
Ware averaged 19 points and 9 assists while leading Rockdale County to its first appearance in the state championship game since 1987.
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