Future KU Jayhawks center Flory Bidunga named Mr. Basketball in state of Indiana

Future University of Kansas center Flory Bidunga, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior basketball player from Kokomo (Indiana) High School, has been named 2024 IndyStar Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana.

Bidunga, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, received 198 votes from high school coaches and media members in Indiana. Bidunga outdistanced future Purdue combo guard Jack Benter of Brownstown Central, who received 122 votes.

The award is presented to the top senior basketball player in the state. The presentation took place Tuesday night during a ceremony at Butler University’s Clowes Hall.

Bidunga averaged 19.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, 4.4 blocked shots and 3.2 assists per game as a senior, leading Kokomo High to a 25-4 record and 4A sectional title. He averaged 20.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a junior for (24-5) Kokomo.

Playing three seasons at Kokomo High, the 2024 McDonald’s All-American and two-time state Gatorade Player of the Year finished his high school career with 1,609 points, 1,132 rebounds and 402 blocked shots. He hit 80.3% of his shots, many on fierce slam-dunks.

“It’s big time for me,” Bidunga told “It’s a lot of hard work I put in here. It’s obviously not over yet but it’s something pretty big. It showed what me and my teammates were able to do and for them to lift me up to where I am now to winning Mr. Basketball. That’s big time.”

Bidunga, who committed to play hoops at KU on Aug. 12, 2023 and signed a letter-of-intent on Nov. 9, is ranked No. 11 in the recruiting Class of 2024 by, No. 17 by and No. 18 by

He was one of 24 players to compete in the recent McDonald’s All-America game.

“I knew he had a chance to be special just with how coachable he was,” Kokomo High coach John Peckinpaugh told the Indy Star. “He didn’t speak great English, obviously (in arriving to U.S. three years ago). But he only had to be told stuff one time and he picked up on stuff very, very quickly.

“Once we got about halfway through the season and he started to turn it on, we thought there was probably a chance this kid could be the best player in the state by the time he’s a senior. He never questions coaching. He wants to be coached, wants to be pushed.”

Bigunga, according to the Indy Star, had six triple-doubles in high school.

“It just came from trying to improve,” Bidunga said of his progression as a player. “Obviously this is a great state for basketball. The town loves coming to basketball games. The thing that helped me was having coach ‘Peck’ with us. We started here the same year.”

Peckinpaugh said Bidunga is an outstanding person.

“On top of him being very good at basketball,” the principal said, “he’s got this personality that draws people to him. Older people, younger kids, peers. People want to be around him because he’s so uplifting and upbeat. He’s got that smile that lights up a room when he walks in. It’s all genuine. So that draws people to him, in addition to being really, really good at basketball and playing on a team that the whole town gets behind.”

Bidunga also played soccer his senior year at Kokomo High.

“He’s super athletic and has good feet,” Peckinpaugh said in an interview with the KC Star.

KU has two incoming freshmen in the Class of 2024 in Bidunga and and Rakease Passmore, a 6-5 wing from Combine Academy in Lincolnton, North Carolina. Labaron Philon of Link Academy asked out of his KU letter of intent on Tuesday.

KU has landed portal transfers in AJ Storr (Wisconsin), Riley Kugel (Florida) and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State). KU has confirmed the receipt of signed financial aid agreements from Storr and Mayo, but not yet announced any signing of Kugel.

The players who are listed as returnees at this time are: KJ Adams, Zach Clemence, Hunter Dickinson, Dajuan Harris, Johnny Furphy, Jamari McDowell and Elmarko Jackson.

Furphy has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft with the option of returning to school. Former Alabama wing Rylan Griffen, who made a campus visit to KU last weekend, is expected to announce his college choice this week.