The Kansas men’s basketball roster grew by one on Saturday night, with preferred walk-on Dillon Wilhite announcing his plans to come to Kansas for the 2021-22 season.
Wilhite is a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward from Cathedral Catholic in San Diego. He is the grandson of longtime KU basketball administrative assistant Joanie Stephens.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Jayhawk,” Wilhite told JayhawkSlant.com on Sunday afternoon. “I grew up going to Kansas games and went to coach Self’s camp every summer (for four years). My dad’s whole family is from there and I’ve always wanted to go to Kansas."
According to his 247 Sports bio, he held offers from Air Force, Army, Boston and Navy. All four programs offered scholarships to Wilhite in May of 2020, according to the 247 Sports database.
Called a breakout player in the area during the 2019-20 season, Wilhite is known as an athletic big man who can score inside and out and improved as a rim protector throughout his prep career.
He played AAU ball for BFL Prep Academy, a member of The Grind Session based in Seattle. The program’s 2020-21 roster included five players who have landed Division I scholarships so far — point guard Shane Nowell (Arizona), shooting guard John Christofilis (Creighton), forward Paolo Banchero (Duke), wing Alex Crawford (Stetson) and point guard Wayne McKinney (San Diego).
Wilhite joins returning veterans Chris Teahan and Michael Jankovich as the three walk-ons on KU’s 2021-22 roster.
He becomes the eighth new face added to the Jayhawks’ roster this offseason and is the sixth current KU player who stands 6-foot-8 or taller.
The Jayhawks still have one scholarship to hand out and they are looking to add another guard, and the program could have another spot open up if either Ochai Agbaji or Jalen Wilson choose to remain in the 2021 NBA draft pool.
Hickman to Gonzaga
Former Kentucky commitment Nolan Hickman, who Kansas pursued both out of high school and after his decommitment from UK, announced on Saturday that he was headed to Gonzaga.
According to reports, the 5-star prospect who was ranked by Rivals.com at No. 20 overall in the 2021 class has signed a letter of intent with the Zags.
He joins a stacked recruiting class for Gonzaga coach Mark Few that includes No. 1 Chet Holmgren, No. 18 Hunter Sallis and No. 53 Kaden Perry. The Zags also added Iowa State grad transfer guard Rasir Bolton.
When he announced his decision to change course from Kentucky, Hickman cited a desire to get closer to home. He grew up in the Seattle area and played his first three seasons of prep ball at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish, Wash. From there, he transferred to Wasatch Academy in Utah to play his senior season.
Hickman chose Gonzaga from a final three of KU, Auburn and Gonzaga.