Keanu Pinder’s roller coaster recruitment has finally come to a conclusion, with the 6’8 small forward committing to the Arizona Wildcats for the 2016/17 season.
The recruiting trail for Pinder has been intriguing to say the least. He originally committed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers where Australian assistant coach Chris Harriman was on staff. However with Harriman taking on a role with New Mexico, Pinder de-committed from the Cornhuskers to also join with the Lobos. Yet not long after, Pinder also de-committed from the Lobos to re-open his recruitment.
Pinder, who has been starring for Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons (JUCO), averaged 10.2 points and 7 rebounds per game last season. After making an official visit to Arizona on 9 May, Pinder elected to choose the Wildcats over South Carolina. He will arrive with the Wildcats with two years of college eligibility remaining.
The West Australian will join an impressive incoming Arizona class that is ranked in the top three across the nation. Alongside Pinder will be five-star prospects Terrance Ferguson, Rawle Alkins, Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen.
Pinder has represented Australia before, both at the 2015 World University Games and the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships. While having a minimal impact at the U19 FIBA Tournament, Pinder was able to display his strong defensive and rebounding ability at the World University Games, also demonstrating his capability at finishing at the rim.
Pinder has basketball in his blood, as his father, Kendall ‘Tiny’ Pinder, played professional in the NBL for the Sydney Supersonics and Perth Wildcats and is also a former Harlem Globetrotter.