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Rising three-star Pennsylvania guard Adou Thiero is not a normal John Calipari type recruit but he might be just what the Kentucky coach needs for his program.
Thiero signed with the Wildcats Sunday on his 18th birthday and became just the third three-star high school prospect to sign with Calipari at Kentucky. The other two — in-state stars Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis in 2013.
Thiero is no ordinary three-star prospect. He has grown seven inches since his sophomore season and is now a 6-5 guard who can play either guard position. He averaged 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.9 steals and 2.3 blocks per game his senior season and shot 52 percent from the field. He did all that despite playing most of the postseason with a broken growth plate in his right thumb.
He averaged 17.7 points per game as a sophomore and 21.8 points, 5.1 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game as a junior.
He had 1,624 career points and had games of 44 and 40 points his senior season. He helped Quaker Valley to a 27-1 record his senior season.
His father, Almamy Thiero, played for Calipari at Memphis from 2003-06 and his mother, Mariam Sy Thiero, was drafted No. 33 overall by the Washington Mystics in 2006 after starring at Oklahoma City University. Obviously his basketball bloodline is superb and his father certainly understands what playing for Calipari is like.
Get this? He played in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and those connected with the league says there has not been a player in the last 50 years from the WPIAL get a scholarship from Kentucky.
Calipari did not get involved with him until late in the season but once he saw him play, he went all-in for Thiero and obviously likes him a lot.
“He is a great kid who comes from a terrific family. Adou is a winner who fought through some adversity last summer and then led his team to the state championship game,” Calipari said in a statement from UK. “Much like Dom and Derek, Adou understands the grind and process of development here.
“He knows nothing will be easy, but he has great size and has the makeup of the kind of guard who excels here, someone who can play on the ball or off and can finish at the rim in a variety of ways. I can’t wait to coach him and help him reach his goals.”
Those goals include playing in the NBA just like they do for five-star classmates Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston. He said Sunday that Calipari told him he had a chance to play early and I can believe that based on his versatility, defense and physical play.
It’s really a great story. He started his senior season with only two scholarship offers from lower Division I teams. He had a great season and now he’s going to Kentucky — a school where he went to camp when he was 9 years old and admits it was his dream school.
I like this signing a lot because he is a player with versatile skills who has no problem being coached and molded with no set timetable already on a departure from UK. He could bring a tougher mentality to UK than some higher ranked players have in recent years and also be a player Calipari could develop over the next two or three years.