UCLA basketball recruiting: Five-star C Adem Bona commits to Bruins over Kentucky

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UCLA won out in a high-stakes recruiting battle on Monday morning as five-star center prospect Adem Bona chose the Bruins in a commitment over Kentucky. Bona, a 6-foot-9 recruit in the 2022 cycle from Prolific Prep in Napa, California, is the third recruit to pick UCLA in the class and the second ranked as a five-star talent.

Kentucky was not long ago considered to be in the driver’s seat with Bona but his commitment is the culmination of a strong late push from UCLA after offering in the summer. The Wildcats heavily pursued another center in the class in Dereck Lively II in recent months that opened the door for the Bruins, who landed an official visit in late October that helped seal the deal and ensured he’d stay on the west coast. 

Bona is the first frontcourt recruit to pick UCLA in the 2022 class, which with the commitment moves into the top-10 of the rankings. He joins five-star guard Amari Bailey and four-star guard Dylan Andrews in the class. He’s the third five-star recruit to pick UCLA since Mick Cronin took over the program.

UCLA is coming off a 22-10 season and Final Four appearance and enters the 2021-22 season as the favorite in the Pac-12 with top-10 credentials led by Johnny Juzang and five-star Peyton Watson. It could lose Jaime Jaquez, Watson and Juzang to the NBA Draft after this season but the addition of Bona, Bailey and Andrews should set up the program to sustain success for years to come. 

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