James, a 6-foot-8 and talented small forward, had been rumored to be inching closer to a decision in the last few weeks. His selection of the Sooners gives coach Sampson his first commitment from the Class of 2006.
James, who is rated as one of the top 10 players in the country by several services, made his verbal commitment Wednesday night during an in-home visit with the Sooners, according to his high school coach Mark Richardson.
James, who had previously listed a top five of Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and Texas, possesses an outstanding all-around floor game and handles the ball very well for a player his height.
"Physically gifted and offensive minded, James is always going to find ways to score the basketball," said Phog.net recruiting analyst Eric Bossi after evaluating James last February. "Some close to him have already indicated that making a direct jump to the NBA is his ultimate goal, but that is still a ways off at this point.
"When James is at his best he uses his size, relative strength and quickness around the hoop to establish himself with a few easy scores around the basket. From there he works his way out on the floor making mid-range jumpers and taking defenders off of the dribble and mixing in an occasional three."