Some basketball players make a quick decision to commit to a college as soon as a scholarship is offered.
That is definitely not the story of University High senior-to-be Wayde Sims, who committed to LSU on Sunday. Sims, the son of former LSU player Wayne Sims, was offered a scholarship by the Tigers during his freshman season at LSU’s lab school.
“I was offered my freshman year, and it felt right,” Sims said. “In my heart, I feel LSU is where I want to be. I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and all my family is right here.”
And when he says family, Sims isn’t just talking about his father, who played for the Tigers from 1987-91. Wayne Sims and LSU coach Johnny Jones are first cousins. Jones’ son, John, also plays for U-High.
Sims averaged 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds as a junior. He was the Class 3A MVP and was named Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year.
In addition to LSU, Sims has scholarship offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, Northwestern State, UTEP, Houston, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, Louisiana Tech, Richmond and Nicholls State. He said the incoming class, led by the nation’s top prospect, Ben Simmons, played a role in his choice.
“Coach Jones is my cousin, and I really want to follow in my Dad’s footsteps,” Sims said. “I also think (Jones) is doing a good job with the program. The chance to play with the guys they’ve signed like Ben Simmons, Antonio Blakeney, Craig Victor and Brandon Sampson … that definitely appeals to me too.”
Over the past two seasons, Sims has played his best in some of U-High’s biggest games. He was voted MVP of the 3A title game during both seasons. Sims scored 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a 77-60 win over John Curtis in the 2015 title game.
Louisiana Basketball Report lists Sims as the state’s No. 7 senior prospect for 2016.
Lady Tigers land Williams
Southern Lab sophomore-to-be Cailain Williams committed to the LSU women’s basketball program during the Lady Tigers team camp this weekend.
“They offered me right before the team camp, and I took it,” Williams said. “LSU was one of the top schools on my list, and I like the idea of being able to play in my home state.”
The 6-2 Williams averaged 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Class 1A Kittens. She already had received offers from Alabama, Louisiana Tech, Grambling and McNeese State. Kansas, Kansas State and Georgia also had contacted Williams, who is a 2018 recruit.
“I’d like to thank God and my coaches — coach (Henry) Combs and my AAU coaches,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.”
Simmons, Blakeney at Nike Basketball Academy
LSU incoming freshmen Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney, who enrolled in school earlier this month, are in Santa Monica, California, this week to take part in the inaugural Nike Basketball Academy.
LSU is one of three schools to have more than one player at the invitation-only event, which features 27 players. Simmons and Blakeney are the only players at the academy who have yet to play a Division I college game.
The weeklong event allows standout players to compete against top competition while receiving guidance from professional stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis. Participants will go through a professional combine, off-court workouts, drills, film sessions and 5-on-5 competition.