Kentucky lands late-blooming, highly coveted 5-star F Wenyen Gabriel

Wenyen Gabriel was the highest climber in the recruiting rankings this past summer. (Adidas)

At the start of the summer of 2014, Wenyen Gabriel did not have a standing scholarship offer from any Division I school in a major conference.

On Thursday, Gabriel verbally committed to Kentucky.

Gabriel, who is now a five-star recruit, is one of the all-time late-bloomers. He’s from New Hampshire, was an unknown prospect over the past couple of years on the national — and local — scene … until the spring of 2015. His stock and reputation enhanced with each week, to the point where he’s now ranked the No. 16 overall player in the class of 2016 in 247 Sports’ composite echelon.

Over the course of a week in late July, Gabriel picked up scholarship offers from major program after major program. His ascension was one of the swiftest and most unusual cases of a player going from total unknown to top-20 prospect.

Gabriel announced his UK commitment on Twitter after revealing his choice on camera to ESPN’s Recruiting Nation microsite.

The 6-foot-9 17-year-old is stilll considered very much a raw but uber-promising prospect. He’s long, has a good jump shot, continues to grow (literally) and has proven to be an adept shot-blocker and rebounder, sometimes in spite of his lanky frame.

Kentucky now has two five-star commits in its class of 2016; power forward Sascha Killeya-Jones pledged to John Calipari’s program in mid-August.


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