Illinois and VCU lead the chase for Mayan Kiir

Mayan Kiir, an athletic 6’10 power forward out of Melbourne, has received offers from Illinois, Long Beach State, North Carolina State, VCU and most recently Mississippi State.

The race to recruit the young Aussie has ramped up in recent weeks with fan bases from both Illinois and VCU urging the big man to join them. Mississippi State is also now making a push, having recently offered Kiir a spot in its program.

The Melbourne product moved to Florida to attend Victory Rock Prep. He is one of 8 Aussies attending the school to play in the basketball program. Victory Rock Prep is also the same school that Deng Adel and Mangok Mathiang attended before gaining a scholarship to Louisville. Kiir had been receiving interest from the Cardinals for a long time, and then at the start of August they secured fellow power forward Malik Williams. Williams' signing meant Kiir's chances at joining Adel at Louisville, was now a long shot at best.

Fans of both Illinois and VCU have been posting on Twitter in what could be described as an online fan recruitment pitch. Things started to get competitive, with both fan bases talking the other down. Kiir now faces a tough decision, with these two colleges in particular chasing the Aussie hard for his skills.

Kiir possesses great length and runs the floor well. He’s tough around the basket and uses his size to rebound the ball efficiently. His body is advanced for his age, meaning he is more likely to be physically ready for the college game compared to the average freshman. Importantly, the big man is adept at getting himself to the free throw line regularly.

Scout Hoops rank Kiir as the 15th best power forward in the class of 2017, and the #1 athlete at his position in Florida. He has been described as a 4 star prospect by many media outlets. The big man was also named in the ESPN top 100 for the recruiting class of 2017, ranked 95th.

The Waverley Falcons junior played for Team USA at the Adidas Eurocamp but was recognised as an international talent, similar to Thon Maker in 2014. He also attended the NBPA top 100 camp in Virginia earlier this year. This is the same camp that Ben Simmons and Thon Maker were named MVPs in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Kiir represented Team Australia at the adidas Nations, averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game which was the third highest rebound tally at the camp. The highlight of his tournament was an 18 point, 14 rebound performance in a victory against Team Wiggins (USA). Other notable prospects on the team were Deng Gak (uncommitted) and Kouat Noi (TCU).

Kiir is yet another successful Aussie baller of South Sudanese background to succeed in the American system. He is also another product of the proud Melbourne based club, the Longhorns, a club that has fostered a number of college standouts including Louisville duo Mathiang and Adel.

The young Aussie has a tough decision looming, with no date for a scheduled announcement as of yet.