The Bruins have reeled in quite the big fish.
Class of 2022 center Adem Bona committed to UCLA men's basketball early Monday morning, he announced on his Instagram. The Prolific Prep (CA) product chose the Bruins over Kentucky.
Bona's decision comes just over a week after fellow class of 2022 big man Ernest Udeh Jr. picked Kansas over UCLA, leaving the Bruins without a post player in the current cycle at that time. Bona has filled that void and then some, as one of the highest-rated and most widely-praised prospects not only at his position, but in his entire high school class.
The Nigerian-born Bona, who moved to Turkey before coming to the United States, only picked up an offer from coach Mick Cronin and UCLA on Aug. 2, but the relationship developed quickly and led to the Bruins leapfrogging the Wildcats. Bona had also previously named Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas, Miami (FL) and USC as finalists as well before narrowing it down to UCLA and Kentucky.
Bona, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound center, took his official visit to Westwood the weekend of Oct. 22. Bona was seen getting lunch with Cronin at Plateia, a restaurant inside of the on-campus Luskin Conference Center and Hotel, that Friday.
The next morning, Bona was with Cronin and his eventual teammates at ESPN's College GameDay, which came to campus to preview the UCLA-Oregon football game on Oct. 23.
That visit to campus was a big contributor to Bona's decision, he said Monday, and he immediately picked up a winning mentality while on campus.
"I envisioned myself playing with the team cause I saw them practice," Bona told Shams Charania of Stadium. "I saw the guys give their all in practice, all they had, and that was big for me cause I'm a guy that will always get whatever I want.
Bona is the third commit UCLA has for its class of 2022, joining guards Amari Bailey and Dylan Andrews.
Between Bailey and Bona, the Bruins now have a five-star tandem coming in next fall, and Andrews is not far behind as a four-star point guard. Bona is the No. 19 player and No. 5 center in his class according to the 247Sports Composite and No. 17 and No. 4, respectively, on ESPN.
UCLA's 2022 recruiting class now ranks No. 9 in the country and No. 1 in the Pac-12 on 247Sports. Prior to Bona's commitment, it slotted in at No. 21 and No. 3.