The comprehensive on-court press effort Gophers coach Ben Johnson and his team put together for Illinois guard Cameron Christie paid off with his commitment to the U’s 2023 recruiting class on Friday.
The 6-6 Christie, the younger brother of former Michigan State standout and Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Max Christie, has generated substantial buzz this summer.
It was offered by nine other Big Ten programs, including neighboring Illinois and its brother’s former Michigan State school.
“Ben and his team not only showed interest in Cam early on, they targeted him a year ago,” Illinois Wolves manager Mike Mullins said. “They’ve shown their interest in him by having all of their staff watch him. So it’s appreciated and noticed not only by Cameron, but by his family as well.”
He will only be 17 in his first year of college next summer. He averaged 22 points for Rolling Meadows High in Illinois last season and played AAU on the Under Armor Tour.
“He’s not shy about having the ball in his hands in big moments,” Mullins said. “He can make open shots. He can make difficult shots. He also has the ability to open up. He’s a three-level goalscorer. He makes plays behind the line. He makes plays in the middle of the line. range and can finish above the rim.”
In a recent interview with 247Sports.com, Christie opened up about his official visit to the U and watching a match at Williams Arena in February.
“Ben Johnson is a great guy,” Christie told 247Sports. “I love his coaching style, I love his personality, they have great players and are in a great conference.”
The Gophers started their 2023 class with four-star senior Colorado Kadyn Betts earlier this summer, but he has reclassified and will join the team in the fall. Christie is the first member of the U’s recruiting class of 2023 — and he’s arguably the top senior in the state of Illinois.
“It’s Cam and not even close. It has the highest potential and the biggest ceiling,” City/Suburban Report founder Joe Henricksen said. “It just shows what Ben and his team are doing. It was impressive how early they got on Cam and the immediate impression they made on his family. They locked it down early and didn’t haven’t deviated from that path. It’s the kind of piece you build a program with.”
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