JaKeenan Gant commits to Missouri
The Missouri Tigers can take one position off their 2014 wish list: stretch forward.
ESPN 100 power forward JaKeenan Gant (Springfield, Ga./Effingham County) visited Missouri's campus officially and opted to pledge to Frank Haith's Tigers on Sunday.
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ESPN 100 prospect JaKeenan Gant is a big pickup for Missouri because he fills the need for an athletic power forward and gives the Tigers a nationally ranked recruit, writes Reggie Rankin. Blog
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Gant is currently ranked the nation's No. 37 overall prospect and No. 7 at his position in the ESPN 100. Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Louisville were on his short list. For Gant, the reason he decided to commit to Missouri focused around the climate Haith fostered with him during his recruitment. When on campus, Gant felt a familial atmosphere and a trust in what his future head coach told him.
"Whatever they say is going to happen will," Gant said. "They're down-to-earth people."
As a junior last season, Gant pumped in 17 points and nine rebounds per game at Effingham County. Blessed with upside because of his combination of size and perimeter stroke, Gant's game will allow him to operate facing the basket. His strength is his shot-making ability outside of the paint.
Gant's commitment is Missouri's second in the Class of 2014, as three-star small forward Chris Sandifer (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) committed to the Tigers on June 28.
Some of Missouri's remaining ESPN 100 targets include shooting guard Devin Booker (Moss Point, Miss./Moss Point), center Goodluck Okonoboh (Boston/Wilbraham & Monson) and small forward Joe Burton (Porter, Texas/Lutheran North). Booker is the son of former Missouri great Melvin Booker.