Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Center Ibby Ali, who visited the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville on Friday, signed with the Razorbacks on Monday afternoon.
Ali, 6-10, 235 pounds, signed with Baylor in April, but he received a release from his national letter of intent. Utah, Tulane, Syracuse, Georgetown and others showed interest.
A native of Nigeria, Ali began playing basketball in 2014 after arriving in Arkansas. He calls the Natural State home and wants to help Coach Mike Anderson win a championship.
"I chose to be a Razorback because of the opportunities," Ali said. "I had a lot of other options but choosing to stay home was just really a big thing for me."
It didn't take Ali long after arriving in Arkansas to became a Hogs fan.
"I've been wanting to be a Razorback since day one," Ali said. "I've been a Razorback fan since I came here, but going to Fayetteville over the weekend pretty much ... sealed it. It was just the right time frame."
He attended Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock his first two years and his junior year at Little Rock Catholic. Ali averaged 4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 50 percent from the field as a senior at Maumelle High School in 2017.
He described what Razorbacks fans will see next season in Walton Arena.
"They're going to see a 6-10 mobile, athletic big," said Ali, who counts former Razorback Sunday Adebayo as a mentor. "I can knock down the 15-foot jumper, and I can rebound pretty well as well as block shots."
Ali becomes the Hogs' eighth member of the 2018 class.
-- Richard Davenport
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