When you’re mentioned in the same breath as James Harden, that’s pretty good company for any ASU basketball player – past, present or future.
Luguentz Dort is the future of ASU basketball.
“That makes me feel great,” Dort said of evoking Harden’s name in Tempe. “All the stuff James Harden has done in his life, I feel like I want to follow him.”
Dort is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound wrecking ball out of Canada. English is his second language but he speaks the universal language of dominance on the basketball court. He’s ASU’s highest-ranked recruit since Harden signed on back in 2007. Dort is currently ranked the 25th-best prospect in high school basketball by Scout.com and he ended up choosing ASU after an exhaustive two-year recruiting process spearheaded by head coach Bobby Hurley and assistant coach Anthony Coleman.
“It’s a testament to how hard we worked and the time we spent recruiting Luguentz,” said Hurley. “He had a comfort level with our program and our players and the direction we are going. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch him play and to work with someone who has a chance to be as special as he can be.”
Dort was in the Valley this past weekend playing in a high school tournament at Arizona Christian University. With Hurley in attendance, Dort displayed the raw athleticism that has the ASU coaching staff eager to get him on campus next summer.
“He fits our style and what we look for in a guard,” said Hurley. “He a super athlete who can get to the rim and finish at the rim. He’s also more than just an athlete. He’s a true basketball player who’s also a great teammate. He’s as good of a prospect as we’ve brought here."
Dort chose ASU because of the Sun Devil coaching staff. He also wants to hone his point guard skills and for that, he needed to look no further than playing for one of the best college point guards to ever play the game.
“Bobby Hurley,” Dort said when asked why ASU emerged as his top choice. “I feel like all the things he’s done in his life and his basketball career, he’s somebody I can learn about playing the point guard position. I Googled him and watched him play at Duke and even the NBA.”
Dort is the centerpiece of a second consecutive impressive recruiting class put together by Hurley and his staff. Dort will be joined next season by Finnish 6-foot-6 guard Elias Valtonen, the No. 60 recruit in the 2018 class.
“Some of these bigger programs bring in these high prospects and it’s not always easy to come in and have a big role on the team,” said Hurley. “I think with our three guards graduating, there’s an opportunity for him and he [Dort] saw that.”
It’s the first time ever ASU has landed two top-60 players in a single recruiting class.
“ASU has been recruiting me since my sophomore year,” said Dort. “They have been with me a long time. They have great facilities but I really like this coaching staff and that’s really why I made this decision."
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