Moses Delivers On Promise

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with new Arkansas basketball signee Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) about what it was that made him want to become a Razorback.

As former Arkansas basketball player Blake Eddins said on Twitter Thursday, let the Moses will lead them to the promise land quips begin.

The Razorback hoops program landed a big one Thursday – figuratively and literally – when Nigerian native Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) signed with Arkansas.

Kingsley is ranked as the seventh-best center prospect in the country in the 2013 class and the 53rd-best player nationally overall according to Scout.com.

He is now at Huntington (WV) Prep - the number one high school team in the country per USA Today - after playing his last two seasons at New Albany (MS) High.

"I feel so very blessed and I thank God for helping me to make this journey and be successful on my quest to play college basketball," Kingsley said Thursday afternoon after signing. "I give God all the glory and I am very excited about being an Arkansas Razorback."

Kingsley teamed with Little Rock Hall forward Bobby Portis (6-10, 220) to lead the Arkansas Wings to the 17-and-under AAU national championship this past summer.

Portis – the nation's 16th best player per Scout.com – is slated to sign with Arkansas Friday at 1 p.m.

"It is also a great blessing that Bobby and I are going to be teammates once again at Arkansas," Kingsley said. "I think we can both come in and join the guys already there and take the program to a national championship level once again."

Kingsley averaged 12.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and a whopping 7.0 blocked shots last season in Mississippi.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson lauded Kingsley as both a great player and a great person.

"First of all, I think he is a character kid – yes sir, no sir," Anderson said. "He has probably been in the (United) States three or four years. I tell you one thing about him is that he is a kid that wants to be a good player, he wants to be a good person and he wants to be a good teammate. I think he is a winner on and off the floor and I think it is a great addition to our team."

Adding big men was vital for the Razorbacks, whose 2012-2013 roster is undersized.

"Obviously we talked about size and that is something that we had to address," Anderson said. "But size is not the only answer. You want size that can play and I think he is one of those guys that will develop and I think really become a force."

Kingsley chose Arkansas over Louisville, Florida, North Carolina State, Memphis and others and said Anderson was a big factor in his decision.

"I have a great relationship with Coach Anderson and I see him as a father figure and someone whose program is a true family," Kingsley said. "I think he cares about those in his program as more than just players."

Anderson said that is exactly what he is trying to put forth about his program and points to some former Razorbacks as examples.

"You go back to the years when I was here from 1985 to 2002 and that was one of our big selling points," Anderson said. "A lot of teams talk about family, but our guys actually are family. You can just look at Scotty Thurman and you go on back to Corliss Williamson, Clint McDaniel, Blake Eddins, Pat Bradley – those guys are still involved. I think that was huge.

"One thing about kids is that they can sense where you are real and when you are not real," Anderson added. "Just building that relationship from day one with Moses was huge. I think being around our players - when he came up here on his visit - he was comfortable. That's a great selling point for us.

"But I think that more than that is we have got a brand that we are selling and that is we want character kids who are going to do the right things on and off the court, go to school, go to class, graduate and hopefully represent this University in a first-class manner," Anderson continued. "And obviously have a chance to showcase their God-given abilities. He has a chance to come in and hopefully have an impact on our program.

"That is a great selling point when kids can say that and they can sense that," Anderson added.

Kingsley – who has a 7-1 wingspan - appears to be a perfect fit for Arkansas' up-tempo, pressing system.

"He is just gifted from the standpoint in that he can instinctively block shots," Anderson said. "When you are a pressing team and you have got somebody in the back that can block shots – sort like Oliver Miller used to be – our guys can put pressure out on the front end of it and he is out there on the backside of it."

Huntington had four players that signed on Thursday and that doesn't even include the nation's top player in the 2013 class in 6-8 small forward Andrew Wiggins, who will sign in the spring.

The other three Huntington players signing Thursday were 6-10 center Dominic Woodson (Baylor), 6-4 guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) and 6-0 guard Travon Landry (Tennesse).

"This is a great place for me because I get better in practice every day since there are people here my size," Kingsley said. "In Mississippi, I was playing guys that were much shorter than me, but in our practices and our games I now have people just like me."

Huntington Prep is 1-0 so far this season and will next be in action Saturday when it hosts Canada's Phase One Academy in a 6 p.m. home game.

"I am really excited to have signed and now I can just concentrate on the season," Kingsley said. "It is very exciting to be ranked No. 1 in the country and now we just have to go out and prove it."





Moses Kingsley


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