Lightfoot Joins Kansas Men’s Basketball Family
High School: Gilbert Christian High School
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Power forward Mitch Lightfoot has signed a National Letter of Intent to play men’s basketball at the University of Kansas, Bill Self announced Thursday. The Tucson, Arizona native is the first KU men’s basketball signee during November’s early signing period.
Rated as the No. 1 player to come out of the state of Arizona for the 2016 class, Lightfoot is a four-star recruit who is ranked No. 99 by ESPN100 and No. 117 by Rivals. He was named Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Division II All-State First Team selection last season at Gilbert Christian High School, as well as an all-section first team honoree.
Lightfoot, listed at 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, averaged 17.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shot in leading Gilbert Christian to the AIA Division II state championship in 2014-15. He was named the player of the game in the state title contest where he scored 15 points.
“Mitch is one of those guys at 6-foot-8 that can play the power forward position and maybe even a little small forward in time,” Self said. “He gives us great versatility and is a guy that knows how to play with other good players. He will develop himself into one of the premier players in our program.”
As a sophomore in 2013-14, Lightfoot averaged 15.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots per contest and was the Southern Arizona Player of the Year and all-section first team honoree. As a freshman, he averaged 12.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocked shots per outing and was the only frosh named to the All-Southern Arizona team earning third team honors.
No stranger to KU, Lightfoot was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and still has many family members who live in the Kansas City area. The Lightfoot family moved to Tucson when he was six-years-old.
“He grew up loving the Jayhawks before moving out to Arizona,” Self said. “Norm (Roberts) was the point man in Mitch’s recruitment and did a great job with his family. After we got to know his immediate family and his extended family, it became very apparent he was a great fit. Everyone knew after visiting with him and his family that he was a top priority. We’re all excited to be able to work with him on a daily basis.”
Self indicated there are still some more signees ahead for the Jayhawks.
“We would really like to sign four,” Self said. “We got off to a great start when we signed Mitchell Lightfoot. We have to sign some size. Losing Hunter (Michelson), Jamari (Traylor) and Perry (Ellis) and then with a great chance of someone else will probably leave early, we’re probably looking at replacing four of our top big guys up front. Even though our backcourt are underclassmen, we anticipate that at least one of those guys will have the opportunity to maybe move on to the next level after the completion of this season.”
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