Consensus Top 10-ranked high school basketball player Flory Bidunga has signed a national letter of intent with the Kansas Jayhawks, KU coach Bill Self announced Thursday.
Bidunga, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior center from Kokomo (Indiana) High School, chose KU over Auburn, Duke and Michigan. He also considered Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Cincinnati, Purdue, Michigan State and others during the recruiting process
“Flory is the headliner of our recruiting class thus far,” Self said. “He is rated by many to be one of the top players in this year’s recruiting class. Flory is an elite athlete. He can play above the rim. He changes ends as well as anybody. He’s getting stronger and developing more offensive skill. He is probably as good a prospect that we’ve had inside in quite some time — (Assistant) coach (Jeremy) Case did a great job with recruiting Flory and his family.”
Bidunga, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, verbally committed to KU on Aug. 12. He was the 2022-23 Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana, where he averaged 20.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game last season. He hit 81% of his shots and led Kokomo to a 24-5 record. His team advanced to the Indiana 4A state-title game.
As a sophomore, Bidunga averaged 17.5 points, 13.3 rebounds and 5.3 blocked shots per game. He hit 79% from the field. In 56 high school games, Bidunga piled up 1,059 points, 759 rebounds and 274 blocks.
Asked when he knew he wanted to be a Jayhawk, Bidunga, who first started playing basketball in 2019, told The Star: “When I went down to visit (in early May), Coach (Bill Self) talked to me about how serious I am about them and how serious they are about me.
“The visit went so well. I feel I liked everything there,” added Bidunga, who said his goal is “to win a national championship.”
Of Bidunga, On3.com analyst Joe Tipton wrote: “Five-star Bidunga is an explosive athlete. The lefty moves in a way that others don’t. He rebounds it well, he defends well, and he finishes — with authority — above the rim.”
Kokomo High coach John Peckinpaugh told Zagsblog.com: “He’s really good with his back to the basket in the post. The thing that sets him apart is his motor is unbelievable and he’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s got a good right-handed and left-handed hook and really, really good footwork for someone as new to the game as he is.”
KU on Wednesday announced the signings of a pair of high school senior prospects: Labaron Philon, a 6-3, 175-pound point guard from Link Year Academy in Branson, Missouri, and Rakease Passmore, a 6-5, 180-pound shooting guard/small forward from Combine Academy in Lincolnton, North Carolina.
Philon is ranked No. 27 by 247sports.com, No. 35 by ESPN.com and No. 40 by Rivals.com. Passmore is rated No. 48 by 247sports.com, No. 49 by Rivals.com and No. 52 by ESPN.com.