Samuels, a Top 10 prospect nationally and the No. 1 rated center according to Scout.com, called Rick Pitino shortly after returning from his unofficial to Louisville and told the U of L coach that he'll play his college basketball in the ‘Ville.
Samuels also got in a call to his friend Tyreke Evans, another Scout.com Top 10 prospect, to inform him about the big news.
"That's unbelievable. It's a big commitment for Louisville," said Reggie Evans, Tyreke Evans' brother. "They're good friends of ours and Tyreke talked to Samardo about his decision. It's good to see Samardo's going there and I congratulate Louisville for it."
You can bet Samuels will be working on his friend for the Cardinals.
"Samardo will definitely try to convince (Tyreke) to come to Louisville," said Samuels' guardian, Steve Johnston, the Director of Jamaica Basketball. "Samardo talked to Tyreke while he was on his visit to Louisville. I think Samardo's presence at Louisville will definitely be a consideration for Tyreke. I think it bodes well for Louisville."
Samuels' commitment has to make Louisville feel good about their chances of landing Evans. The two are close friends, have an equal desire to play together in college, and now Evans knows where Samuels will play. Is it just a matter of time before Evans follows Samuels lead and opts to join him and Pitino?
"Tyreke has always been high on Louisville," Evans said. "They have always been one of his frontrunners. Samardo's commitment is a big eye-wink to us. Tyreke was like ‘my guy is going to Louisville."
Though Evans and Samuels haven't had many opportunities to play together, they did play together at the IS8 Tournament in New York last year. That brief engagement at IS8 could lead to big things for Pitino and Louisville.
"They have been dying to get together and play since IS8," Reggie Evans said. "They looked great together there. They've never really been able to get together since then because Samardo plays for his own AAU team, the Metro Hawks, and Tyreke plays for our AAU program, Team Final. So this may be (their) opportunity in college to play together. For Samardo to take this step is huge."
"They have a bond and they have a great relationship," said Johnston.