Isaiah Stokes Grabs UNC's Attention, Earns Offer

Tennessee post player emerges on UNC's 2017 recruiting board.

Isaiah Stokes picked up a scholarship offer from North Carolina during his first conversation with Roy Williams.

Stokes, a 6-foot-8, 270-pounder in the 2017 class, landed on the Tar Heels’ radar this summer. The UNC staff saw him as he teamed with offered target P.J. Washington on the EYBL circuit and then Roy Williams watched him shatter a backboard in Las Vegas playing with Ernie Kuyper’s M33M team at the Adidas Championships.

“It was cool,” Stokes said about his conversation with UNC’s head coach. “When he talked to me he started talking about how he saw me break the backboard and that felt good because he was there.”

Stokes, who will transfer from Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, said the conversation centered on North Carolina’s personnel.

“He was just talking about how I would fit in and the players that he was going to lose and the players that he has right now,” Stokes said. “He was just going over how I would fit in with their players.”

“I think the conversation was motivational,” he added. “I feel like it means I’m going in the right direction and I just need to keep working hard and get ready for IMG.”

Williams and Stokes discussed a potential official visit in the near future.

“I haven’t set one yet,” he said. “Coach Williams is out of town right now - I think out of the country. I think he just left two days ago, but we are going to set [the visit] up soon.”

According to Stokes the draw to UNC is the tradition and success with putting players in the NBA.

“It’s been a top tier school forever,” Stokes said. “They put people in the pros and that’s what I’m trying to do. That’s the end look for everything. I’m trying to be a pro and he produces that type of players.”

Stokes, the brother of former Tennessee star and NBA player Jarnell Stokes, said that he’s also getting strong interest from Memphis, Kansas State, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa State, TCU and Mississippi.

A burly post player who earned major offers as a football prospect before committing himself solely to basketball, Stokes has lost more than 40 pounds and that has helped him expand his game. He said the weight loss has helped his defense, specifically.

“I think I’ve gotten better on defense,” he said. “One thing I’ve changed from previous years is I like to defend. I want to be a good defender and to guard the best player. I like to take on that challenge. Me losing weight helped me be more mobile.”

“I’m a good pick and pop player and I think I can score on the block if you throw it in,” he added. “I feel like if I got a bigger person on me like a 7-footer, I can drop in a hook shot or I can bring him out of the paint. One thing I did is I expanded my game a lot of more.”


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