The long, strange trip that has been Ray Kasongo’s recruitment has come to an end.
For now, at least.
The 6-foot-9 Canadian has signed with the College of Southern Idaho, a junior college, according to its head coach, Jared Phay.
“He did,” Phay told SNY.tv by text Saturday morning. “He is on a plane to our campus as we speak. He is enrolled in classes and we start Monday. He is a great kid and we are excited to have him here.”
After attending multiple high schools in Kentucky and Arizona, Kasongo flirted with UConn and Oregon before ultimately settling on Oregon last October.
But the school then denied him admission last month, putting him back on the market this summer.
Numerous schools, including Kansas (where he visited), Memphis, California, Indiana, LSU, Michigan State and Purdue, explored bringing him in, but none did.
Now Kasongo has gone the junior college route and may only stay there one year.
“He has a huge upside,” Phay said. “He’s a big, strong and athletic and has good skills for a big man. It is my understanding that he is a qualifier so he will be able to leave here after one year and then have three years to play Division 1.”
During a January 2013 interview with SNY.tv, Kasongo said he models his game after Amar’e Stoudemire and moved South from Canada to get exposure so he could get a scholarship.
“I always wanted to move down to the U.S. to better my chances of getting a scholarship,” Kasongo said then “There isn’t much exposure out in Canada.”
In recent years Canadians like Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Myck Kabongo, Andrew Wiggins, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Tyler Ennis and others have come to American schools to further their basketball careers.
All of them are now either in the NBA or at high-level Division 1 schools, and Kasongo surely hopes to follow in their footsteps.