“I’m always careful to overhype guys that we sign because they haven’t played a college game yet, but if there’s anyone that I’m very confident in that is going to come in and make a splash as a freshman, it’s Markelle Fultz,” said Romar. “He is the most dynamic guard coming in the door that we have signed in our 14 years here.”
The five-star signee comes to Seattle from Upper Marlboro, Maryland and currently plays for high school powerhouse DeMatha Catholic. The 6-4, 180-pound guard burst onto the national scene following the 2014 summer and quickly rose to the top of the 2016 class, as all major recruiting services have him ranked in the top 15 nationally.
As a junior for DeMatha, Fultz averaged 16.5 points per game and was named the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year capping a meteoric rise as he spent his sophomore season on the junior varsity team.
“He’s extremely poised and versatile,” added Romar. “He’s a guard with size at 6-4 that’s athletic, can handle the ball and really passes well. He’s got long arms so he’ll be a great defender for us and he’s got experience on the big stage. When you consider that he was on the junior varsity team as a 10th grader and he’s made this climb this rapidly, you just know that he’s maybe just scratching the surface.
Most recently, Fultz earned a spot on the 2015-16 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team after shining during the team’s October minicamp where he was lauded daily by the national media as one of the top performers.
He also took part in the Under Armour Elite 24 game which features the nation’s top 24 players in that year’s class. At the Under Armour All-America camp, Fultz led all players over the three-day event, as he averaged 22.8 points per game. Fultz’s 2015 summer was busy as he also attended the NBPA Top 100 Camp and the Steph Curry Select Camp.
“Obviously Markelle is an outstanding basketball player but equally as impressive is the person,” said Romar. “Markelle is a guy with great character that will fit right in line with the attitude of the group that we have right now. It will be a seamless transition adding him to our roster.”
The national standout joins New Zealand native Sam Timmins who signed with the Huskies in April earlier this year. Timmins is a 6-10 center from the South Island of New Zealand and is lauded as one of the most promising players to come out of the country in years. He played a major role on New Zealand’s national team while also winning a national high school title with Otago Boys High School.
“This class is only two guys, but they are a very efficient duo in that Sam will be our tallest and probably strongest player as a freshman in terms of physicality,” said Romar. ”Point guards and big guys are sometimes hard to find and we get both in this class. With the returning group that we’re going to have, just missing maybe a couple of pieces, those guys do nothing but impact our program right away.”