LOS ANGELES (BVM) — The NIL movement continues to be an important factor for top recruits. Some notable names that have signed a NIL deal are Shedeur Sanders and Kentucky track star Masai Russell. The latest prep prospect to change his collegiate destination is Robert Dillingham, who committed to Kentucky on June 24.
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Dillingham had initially committed to NC State in December of 2021, but nearly seven months after, he announced he had decommitted from the Wolfpack.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to reopen my commitment,” Dillingham said. “While NC State still remains an option, I would like to explore all of my options.”
Dillingham is a five-star prospect who is considered the No. 5 overall prospect by ESPN in the Class of 2023. He is also considered the seventh-best prospect in the nation by 247Sports. One could imagine he would have more suitors. Those included Kentucky, Auburn, Louisville and USC.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound point guard ultimately decided to join coach John Calipari and the Wildcats. With Dillingham’s decision, it adds to an already stacked Class of 2023 recruiting class for Kentucky. They already have a commitment from Reed Sheppard, the No. 29 overall prospect. Kentucky remains in the running for Class of 2023 No. 1 overall DJ Wagner at Kentucky.
“When I visited Kentucky, it was incredible,” Dillingham told ESPN. “They explained everything. The basketball, academics, strength and conditioning, NIL.”
When he reaches Lexington, he will aim to help the Wildcats continue their dominant run in the SEC when he reaches Lexington. Last season the Wildcats went 26-8 record and a 14-4 SEC record. Although they would fall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, recruits like Dillingham could help the Wildcats capture their first national title since 2012.
However, Dillingham is heading into his senior year at Donda Academy. There he’ll aim to bolster his reputation as one of the nation’s best.
He is currently tearing up the competition during the summer. Dillingham plays his summer ball for Team CP3 in the Nike grassroots circuit. There he’s averaging 19.9 points, 3.3 assists shooting 38.4% from behind the arc. Dillingham also played for USA Basketball in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in the summer of 2021. He averaged 15.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.2 steals en route to winning the MVP.
Some could say Dillingham’s decision was strictly a basketball one. He just wants to show the nation he is one of the best to step onto the basketball court. And to be the best; you have to play with the best. Kentucky is just that. And with the reputation as a blue blood of college basketball, Dillingham’s ceiling for success remains monumental.
“Dillingham is a creative lead guard who plays with a natural flair for the game,” 247Sports Director of Scouting Adam Finkelstein said. “As much as potentially any other guard in the class, he excels at consistently making tough plays and shots, with obviously high degrees of difficulty…Overall though, he’s one of the most skilled and creative playmaking guards in the class, with undeniable talent with the ball.”