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Isaac Asuma wants to help build up Minnesota basketball
Isaac Asuma is considered the second best player in the Class of 2024 in the state of Minnesota and is the first Golden Gophers commit for the Class of 2024. (Courtesy: Twitter/@isaac_asuma)

Isaac Asuma wants to help build up Minnesota basketball

IRON, Minn. (BVM) – Earlier this month, Cherry High School basketball’s star point guard Isaac Asuma had a triple-double against Rock Ridge. The 6-foot-3 junior dropped 22 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists as the Tigers beat the Wolverines 87-55. However, the triple-double wasn’t even the best part of the night. Asuma, in front of his friends, family and team, announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota

“It was definitely just a blessing for everyone to be there and to witness it,” Asuma said. “I’m just thankful for everyone for being there and supporting me.” 

Asuma is a three-star recruit and considered the second-best prospect in Minnesota for the Class of 2024. He’s the first Golden Gopher commit for the Class of 2024. Asuma wants to be a part of the rebuild of Minnesota basketball and be an example to other recruits that they can stay home to play for the Gophers. 

“I take a lot of pride in that, being a Minnesota kid who’s going to be helping turn the program around,” Asuma said. “I think that’ll be a huge thing.” 

It wouldn’t be the first time he has helped rebuild a basketball program. Asuma was a seventh grader on a Cherry team that went 0-22. Since then, he has been working with his younger brother, cousin and teammates to build up the Tigers. The culmination of that work came last year when Cherry went 27-6 on its way to a sectional championship and its first trip to state in 25 years. 

The turnaround not only put the state of Minnesota on notice that Cherry basketball was a program to respect, but also introduced everyone to the talented point guard leading the Tigers. Asuma reached 2,000 career points during the state quarterfinals last year and in his first two state tournament games, he scored 67 total points. 

Colleges took notice and the offers started to come in. Asuma had offers from TCU, Iowa State, Xavier, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. He had originally planned to wait to make his decision until the AAU season, but something about Minnesota felt right. 

“It wasn’t the goal,” Asuma said about committing early. “My plan was to wait until after AAU and then decide but it just felt right in the moment after my official visit.” 

Staying close to home and representing his home state definitely influenced the decision but Asuma says it was the relationship with the coaches that won him over. He feels like the staff trusts him and that he’ll be able to thrive playing for Ben Johnson and his staff. 

Now, Asuma is a Gopher and the weight of that decision is off his chest. The Class of 2024 point guard can just focus on basketball. 

“It definitely feels like kind of a relief to just focus on talking to one coaching staff and nice to focus on finishing out the rest of my season,” Asuma said. 

It’s a good thing, too, because Asuma isn’t done turning Cherry basketball around. The Tigers took the momentum they had after making it to state last year and picked up right where they left off. Cherry won its second straight sectional title and made it to state. It was the first time in program history that the Tigers have made it to state two years in a row. 

“It’s been a fun year,” Asuma said. 

Asuma has been improving his game the entire time. According to him, he’s been making small steps with every aspect of his game, setting himself up for success now in high school and in the future. 

By the time he leaves Cherry, he will be the best player to ever play for the Tigers. Asuma will then begin his collegiate career with the goal of turning around another basketball program. If his time at Cherry is a precursor of what is to come when he gets to Minnesota, Gopher fans should be excited.