Esa Ahmad

Kelly Kline/Under Armour

West Virginia lands four-star power forward


In late-August four-star power forward Esa Ahmad cut his list of schools to five programs: Maryland, Ohio State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Oregon. A highly productive player from Shaker Heights, Ohio, Ahmad averaged 26.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game as a high school junior.

Wednesday afternoon Ahmad decided where he’ll play his college basketball, as he announced via his Twitter account that he’s committed to West Virginia.

Ahmad took an official visit to West Virginia last weekend, and obviously the program’s efforts throughout Ahmad’s recruitment have paid off in a big way. West Virginia loses just one senior from their front court at the end of the 2014-15 season, but despite the available options that will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16 Ahmad has the talent to work his way into the rotation as a freshman.

With Kevin Noreen (20 starts, 2.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg in 2013-14) being the lone senior, among the players who will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16 are Devin Williams (8.4, 7.2), Nathan Adrian (5.4, 2.9) and three players who did not play for West Virginia last season in Elijah Macon, Jonathan Holton and South Plains College transfer BillyDee Williams.

Ahmad is the third 2015 player to verbally commit to West Virginia, with point guard James “Beetle” Bolden making his pledge in mid-May and center Levi Cook doing so in September 2012.

Top 100 Ohio native focused on five schools

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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6-foot-8 forward Esa Ahmad, ranked 69th amongst Class of 2015 players by Rivals, cut his list to five schools on Thursday according to Jeff Erman of Ahmad, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, is now considering Maryland, Ohio State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Oregon. Ahmad played for the All-Ohio Red program this spring and summer, averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in Nike EYBL play.

As a junior at Shaker Heights HS, Ahmad was one of the best players in the state of Ohio. On a team that finished the 2013-14 season with an 18-5 record, Ahmad averaged 26.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

The announcement of Ahmad’s trimming his list to five schools comes just before his official visit to Maryland, and according to the report he’s expected to visit West Virginia on September 20. Of the five schools left on Ahmad’s list Ohio State has the highest number of verbal commitments in the 2015 class, as they currently hold three (guards A.J. Harris and Austin Grandstaff, and center Daniel Giddens).

Following the Buckeyes in that category is West Virginia, which has two commitments (guard James Bolden and center Levi Cook) with Oregon (guard Kendall Small) and Wisconsin (guard Brevin Pritzl) holding one verbal commitment apiece. Maryland, which has a talented group of freshmen on campus now, have yet to land a commitment in the Class of 2015.