Florida secured a commitment from one of the top passing point guards in the Class of 2018 on Monday.
Andrew Nembhard, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound Canadian point guard from Aurora, Ontario, made a verbal pledge to the Gators. ESPN.com rated Nembhard as a four-star prospect, ranked as the 43rd best overall prospect and 11th best point guard in the country. Rivals.com rates Nembhard as a five-star prospect and 26th best player in the nation. That makes Nembhard the first five-star to commit under current UF coach Mike White.
“I’m grateful and excited to announce my commitment to Florida,” Nembhard posted on Twitter.
Nembhard made his commitment shortly after taking an official visit to UF over the weekend. He picked the Gators over Gonzaga, Stanford, UConn and Arizona.
“We’re excited to be part of the Gator family,” Nembard’s father, Claude Nembhard said Monday. “We were there this past weekend. Had a great visit. Andrew is excited about it.
“He’s an old-school point guard. A pass first guy. He’s played for the Canadian National Team and will play for the Junior Men’s National Team this year. He’s a good student, 3.6, 3.7 GPA. ”
Asked why Nembhard picked Florida, Claude said: “Just the relationship that Andrew built with Coach (Mike) White and Coach Dusty (May). This has been a two year process and we’ve done a lot of research. Florida is a top flight basketball program and the academics, the facilities, it was just a number of different factors.”
Nembhard will fill an area of need for the Gators in 2018 with starting point guard Chris Chiozza graduating at the end of the season. He’s playing this season at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., which is 100 miles south of UF’s campus. Montverde is the same school that produced former UF point guard Kasey Hill.
Nembhard is entering his second season at Montverde. Prior to that, Nembhard played two seasons at Vaughan Secondary School Toronto, the same school that produced former Kansas standout and current Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins.
Nembhard is UF’s first commitment of the 2018 class. But the Gators are in the running to possibly land a second tomorrow. Four-star shooting guard Noah Locke, who also visited UF over the weekend, is announcing his decision on Tuesday. The 6-2 Locke, from Owings Mills, Md., has Florida in his final five with Michigan, Providence, Ohio State and Xavier.
A scouting report on the website DraftExpress.com said that while Nembhard’s jump shot needs work, he’s got a high basketball IQ with excellent court vision and can play the point at different speeds. The report also praises Nembhard’s defensive upside and ability to be disruptive and get in passing lanes.