North Carolina recruiting: Nassir Little discusses Tar Heels commitment
Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 9 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In this edition, we discuss 5-star small forward Nassir Little, who discussed his commitment to the Tar Heels after making it official Wednesday.
The Nassir Little saga came to a happy end for North Carolina basketball Wednesday when he announced his commitment with a video on Twitter.
The commitment from the 5-star small forward gives Roy Williams his first top-10 recruit since Justin Jackson in the Class of 2014 and propels the Tar Heels to the No. 1 class in the nation. That 2014 class was also the last time Williams had two 5-star prospects in the same class before now, with Little joining 5-star combo guard Coby White.
Little told Scout’s Sherrell McMillan it came down to academics and the relationship that Williams was able to cultivate with Little and those close to him.
“I chose North Carolina just because they have great academics, coach Williams is a great coach that’s used to winning and he knows how to win,” Little told McMillan. “Growing up, I’ve always wanted to go there. I’ve watched them since I was a kid. It kind of hit me, not suddenly, but I talked to my parents about it. They told me I needed to go with the feeling in my gut. That’s the feeling that I had. It wasn’t an incredibly hard decision.”
While Little’s decision was made official Wednesday, he’s been committed to North Carolina since Friday, when he made the phone call to Williams.
Little chose the Tar Heels over a final five that included Georgia Tech, Arizona, Miami and Duke. He had taken an official visit to Georgia Tech (Aug. 26) and North Carolina (Sept. 8), and was set to visit the other three schools over the course of the next couple months.
Although this is the end to Little’s recruitment, it’s unlikely that this is the last we’ll hear from him between now and the start of the 2018 season. It’s believed Little is one of the players implicated by the FBI in its probe of college basketball recruiting. Allegedly, Little asked Arizona for $150,000 for his commitment and Miami was trying to match that by getting funds from adidas, the official apparel company for both the Hurricanes and 1 Family, Little’s AAU team in Florida.
One of the defendants in the FBI case, Jonathan Brad Augustine, was the coach of 1 Family. According to information collected from wiretaps of some of the company’s executives, adidas planned to funnel the money to Little through the AAU team. Last Thursday, the official 1 Family Twitter account issued a statement in defense of Little and his family.
It is unclear to what extent the NCAA plans to investigate these allegations and whether or not the recruits, if identified, could face punishment for proven involvement in illegal practices. Tar Heels DieHards has reached out to the NCAA for clarification and we will provide an update when a response is given.
The Little family has been advised not to address the matter publicly until they are cleared by the NCAA and FBI, according to McMillan’s story.
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