Isaiah Stokes surprises by signing with Florida Gators basketball for 2017

By Adam Silverstein
December 1, 2016
Isaiah Stokes surprises by signing with Florida Gators basketball for 2017
Basketball

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Three-star forward/center Isaiah Stokes (Memphis, TN) has decided to play basketball for the Florida Gators next season, the school announced Friday after multiple outlets reported his decision earlier in the week.

Stokes, the younger brother of former Tennessee star F/C Jarnell Stokes, neither announced his commitment to Florida nor made his signing public knowledge, choosing to stay out of the spotlight. When his destination was first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels early Wednesday, Stokes actually sent a tweet saying the report was untrue and asking him to delete the story. Stokes later deleted that tweet.

He seemingly sent a National Letter of Intent to the Gators in mid-November, ultimately choosing Florida over Iowa State and two local programs, Memphis and Tennessee. Stokes played the final year of his high school basketball career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, but previously attended Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, like his brother.

“We’re incredibly excited about all three guys in this class,” head coach Mike White said in a statement released Friday. “Isaiah had hoped to make his announcement on his own terms when he had his whole family with him, so it’s unfortunate for his sake that it leaked how it did. That said, Isaiah is really excited to be a Gator, and we’re equally excited to have him as part of the Florida basketball family and think he can be a really good player here. We are proud of this class and think they will all be great fits for our program and our style, and we’re happy that they’ve chosen to be a part of the Gator family.”

Rated as a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite (No. 150 in the nation), Stokes is actually ranked much higher in 247Sports‘ in-house rankings (four stars, No. 77) and ESPN (four stars, No. 60).

A talented and prized offensive lineman, Stokes (6-foot-8, 285 pounds) decided to concentrate on basketball instead of football during his junior year despite holding offers from some of the nation’s biggest programs, including Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.

Now he is the third member of Florida’s Class of 2017, which also includes four-star F DeAundrae Ballard (Atlanta, GA) and three-star F Chase Johnson (Huntington, WV). The class was previously headlined by four-star guard Shai Alexander (Chattanooga, TN), though he decommitted from Florida in October only to sign with rival Kentucky one month later.

The Gators chose not to confirm Stokes’s signing when asked by OnlyGators.com on Wednesday and Thursday.

Oh yeah, and he’s also already made No. 1 on SportsCenter’s Top Plays.

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