TerrapinSportsReport - Maryland lands commitment from 7-foot-2 center Chol Marial
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Maryland lands commitment from 7-foot-2 center Chol Marial

Chol Marial
Chol Marial

Maryland has rounded out its 2019 class in a big way, literally, as the Terps added Compass Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 7-foot-2, 220-pound four-star center Chol Marial, who announced his commitment Monday morning.

The Sudanese center visited New Mexico, Maryland and Arizona State recently before ultimately deciding to take his talents to College Park at the next level. His Maryland visit included a trip to his native country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as some bonding time with Terps coaches, which proved to be enough to woo the elite rim protector who averaged eight blocks per game last season.

“[Marial] texted me and said, ‘Man, it’s lit,’” Compass Prep coach Pete Kaffey told TSR during Marial’s visit to College Park. “I got some pictures. I know they took him to the (Sudanese) embassy because the embassy is like right there; it’s like 15-20 minutes away from where they’re at. I saw he had a flag on him and everything else. He told me that it was good. I did talk to Chol’s guardian who’s with him and he said it was great. They had dinner [Thursday], they took pictures and everything else. Chol liked it.”

Marial was once considered to be one of the top recruits in his class and a likely NBA lottery pick some day. He brings rare athleticism to the floor for a player his size and can even shoot from long range, but Marial has had health issues in recent years that caused his recruiting stock to slide.

But by all accounts from those close to him, Marial is healthy now and ready to compete at the next level.

“In his past, I don’t know the people who have been dealing with him from a medical standpoint, but I know my team has done a really good job,” Kaffey said. “We connected with some experts who are very good at what they do and they recommended some things. We feel very confident about him being ready to go from day one and being healthy.”

One of the biggest factors in Marial’s final decision was development. He is a raw talent with tons of physical traits that lend themselves well to basketball, but Marial will need some polishing to become a pro and he and his camp feel like Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is the man to get the job done.

“Coach Turgeon has developed a lot of great bigs that are in the NBA from DeAndre Jordan, [Alex Len], and now (Bruno) Fernando,” Kaffey said. “So if he happens to commit and go there, I think Chol will be a pro because Coach Turgeon does a really good job with bigs.”

Marial joins a Terps’ 2019 class that also includes fellow four-stars Makhi and Makhel Mitchell and Donta Scott, as well as three-star Hakim Hart.