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Evan Mobley becomes first No. 1 overall basketball recruit to sign with USC

Rancho Christian’s Evan Mobley in action against McEachern during a game at the Hoophall Classic on Jan. 21.
Rancho Christian’s Evan Mobley in action against McEachern during a game at the Hoophall Classic on Jan. 21.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

The top high school boys’ basketball player in the nation is officially heading to USC.

Evan Mobley of Temecula Rancho Christian signed his letter of intent Wednesday, marking the first time in program history that the No. 1 overall recruit chose the Trojans. Mobley is rated the top player for the 2019-20 class by 247Sports.com, ESPN.com and Rivals.com.

“Evan is a special young man,” USC coach Andy Enfield said in a statement. “He is an incredible basketball talent who can dominate on the defensive end with his length and athleticism and on the offensive end with his tremendous skill set.”

In Mobley’s case, signing anywhere else was never much of a consideration. Mobley’s father, Eric, was hired by USC last season as an assistant to fill the role vacated by Tony Bland. His older brother, Isaiah, is a freshman starter for the Trojans.

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For years, Evan played on the Compton Magic AAU team with another of USC’s impressive freshmen, Onyeka Okongwu.

As 7-foot, consensus five-star prospect with exceptional athleticism, Mobley is viewed as a generational talent and potential No. 1 overall pick in 2021 NBA draft.

As a junior at Rancho Christian, Mobley averaged 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game. He was selected the Gatorade state player of the year.

Descriptions of his potential tend to border on hyperbole. In August, when Mobley first committed to USC, his high school coach, Ray Barefield, described him in an interview with The Times as “a little bit of the Greek Freak [Giannis Antetokounmpo] and Kevin Durant, all in one.”

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“As a prospect,” Barefield said then, “I can’t imagine he’s not in the top three ever in California.”

Mobley is the only recruit committed to USC for the 2020-21 season, and it’s widely expected that he will declare for the NBA after one college season.


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