Kouma to sign next Thursday

Kouma to sign next Thursday

CHAMPAIGN — The wait is over. Or at least it will be soon. Class of 2019 big man Bernard Kouma announced Thursday he would officially sign with Illinois on May 30. Since the spring signing period ended May 15, the three-star forward will sign his scholarship paperwork instead.

Kouma committed to Illinois on April 8, joining four-star center Kofi Cockburn and four-star forward Antwan January in Illinois' 2019 class. Cockburn signed last month, while January has since decommitted. 

“Illinois, they’ve got a good program and they know how to push a player to be the best they can be,” Kouma told The News-Gazette the night he committed. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Kouma is unranked by Rivals but considered a three-star recruit per 247Sports and ranked the No. 395 player nationally in the 2019 class. The 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward had varying levels of interest from programs ranging from the Mid-American Conference to Atlantic-10 and high major teams.

Our Saviour Lutheran coach Peter Wehye said Kouma’s commitment came down to Illinois and Pittsburgh. Our Saviour Lutheran went 20-13 this season after posting a 32-5 record during Kouma’s junior year. Kouma averaged 14.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as a senior.