After months of academic limbo, three-star prospect Kevin Zhang became eligible this week and signed with the Tulane basketball team on Thursday.
Zhang, a 6-foot-9 forward who committed to the Green Wave in April, joins Chatham (Virginia) Hargrave Military Academy guard Connor Crabtree and Reno (Nevada) Galena High forward Moses Wood as incoming freshmen.
“Zhang is going to bring to the table his versatility and skill at 6-9,” Tulane coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He just is a really good fit for the way that we want to play. He can run the floor, make plays, handle the ball and shoot the 3.”
Zhang, a native of Shenyang, China, also has scholarship offers from UCLA, BYU, DePaul and Kansas State. He played for the 12-man World team that beat the United States this spring at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Oregon. He was part of a star-studded roster as Montverde Academy that cruised to a 35-0 record this year and won the high school national championship at a tournament in Middle Valley, New York.
Zhang spent his first three years of high school at Indiana’s La Lumiere, which won the national championship in Zhang’s junior season, beating Montverde in the final. He came to the United States at age 14 to attend a program in Oregon run by the U.S. Basketball Academy.
Tulane, which went 14-17 last year in Dunleavy’s second season, begins preseason camp on Sept. 25. The Wave lost leading scorer Melvin Frazier, a second-round draft pick of the Orlando Magic, and second-leading scorer Cameron Reynolds, who signed a free agent contract with the Sacramento Kings.
The rest of the significant contributors return, including starting guards Ray Ona Embo and Jordan Cornish, American Athletic Conference field goal percentage leader Samir Sehic and promising sophomore Caleb Daniels, a St. Aug product who averaged 6.4 points as a freshman.
The addition of Zhang gives Tulane players from four continents. Sophomore Bul Ajang and redshirt freshman Buay Koka are from South Sudan, Africa. Ona Embo is from France.