Hakeem Rollins commits to UW

The University of Washington basketball offices were a happy place this afternoon. Lorenzo Romar had been working the recruiting trail fast and furious to get some post help, and today at 2:00 he received some in a big way.

Hakeem Rollins, a 6-8 230-pound power forward from Mesa JC in Arizona, called Romar and gave him the news that Husky fans have been waiting for.

"Minnesota, Santa Barbara, Southern Illinois, and Washington were recruiting me the hardest. Those were my finalists. All of them offered me scholarships. I visited all four of them and I made my decision today."

And the winner is????

"I signed a Letter of Intent with Washington today."

Rollins averaged 25 points per game and nine rebounds per game this year for Mesa playing the four position.

Hakeem was a late bloomer and not recruited heavily out of Mesa High School because he didn't play a lot, and was only 6-5.

But at junior college, Rollins found that as his frame grew, so did his game. "I had better coaching at Mesa JC, and I've been developing, both in strength and size."

He played two seasons at MJC and will enter Washington next fall with three years to complete two seasons of basketball eligibility. No one expects him to redshirt, however, as Romar needs inside scoring and rebounding help.

With the early departure of Doug Wrenn and the unknown future of Jeffrey Day (academics), Rollins will get immediate court time.

"I like their staff and their players. I visited Seattle on April 23rd. I met a lot of faculty, the president," said Rollins of his trip to Washington.

"I met Nate Robinson, Will Conroy, and Anthony Washington. "Nate is a really good athlete. He's a character."

Rollins was asked if Nate talked a bit while he was on his trip.

"Yeah, he does," he said with a laugh.

But it boiled down to Romar and his staff of Cameron Dollar, Russ Schoene, and Ken Bone. They were the difference in Rollins' decision.
,br> "They are all really likable, and easy to talk to. The players really like playing for that staff there. I called Romar about 2:00 today to tell him, and he was happy. From what I understand, they had to work a bit harder to recruit me so they're probably happy that it paid off."

Rollins knows what his role will be with the Huskies.

"I will come in and help them with scoring on the inside. I'll provide leadership and rebounding."

Rollins is the fourth recruit in this class, joining center Hans Gasser, swingman Tre Simmons, and forward Jamaal Williams, who will transfer in from New Mexico.
Hakeem Rollins profile

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