Missouri’s men’s basketball team filled its final remaining scholarship Saturday, announcing that Montaque Gill-Caesar had signed a financial aid agreement.
Gill-Caesar — a 6-foot-6 small forward from Ontario, Canada, who played for Tigers assistant Rob Fulford at Huntington Prep in West Virginia the last two years — had planned to enter college in 2015.
Instead, Gill-Caesar, who often goes by the nickname “Teki,” reclassified and will be eligible immediately at Missouri. He graduated from high school last spring.
“I’m so excited to be joining the University of Missouri family and cannot wait to get on campus and get to work,” Gill-Caesar said in a release from MU Athletics. “Everything about my visit to Mizzou (in late June) was perfect, but I wanted to be thorough make the decision that was best for me and my family.
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“I already had great relationships with coach Rob (Fulford) and (Tigers associate head) coach (Tim) Fuller, but having a chance to meet coach Anderson and get to know him on a personal level just put everything over the top. I want to thank my family and everyone at Huntington Prep for their support and I’m ready to be a Missouri Tiger.”
Gill-Caesar, a four-star recruit, had been ranked No. 31 overall in the class of 2015 by Rivals. He also had offers from Michigan State, Wichita State and Memphis among others.
“Teki is an outstanding addition to our family and fills a position of need for us on the wing,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said in the same release. “Teki has all the tools to be a big time talent over the course of his college career and fits extremely well with the young perimeter players we have in the program because they are so versatile.”
Anderson lauded Gill-Caesar’s perimeter shooting and ability to attack the basket off the dribble in addition to his rebounding prowess and defensive presence.
“He will have an opportunity to come in an contribute right away and gives us another important influx of talent as he joins Keith (Shamburger, a point transfer from Hawaii) in arriving next month,” Anderson said.
Gill-Caesar, who is the reigning West Virginia Gatorade boys basketball player of the year, averaged 16.1 points with 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals last season.
During a game again Miami Valley (Ohio) last season, Gill-Caesar scored 56 on 21-of-34 shooting, including 11 three-pointers. He shot 55 percent from the field for the season and 41 percent from three-point range.
Gill-Caesar helped Canada win the silver medal at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship in Colorado Springs, where he was the tournament’s second-leading scorer at 19.6 points per game.
“Having the opportunity to continue coaching Teki is tremendous, not just for me, but my entire family, because we developed such a strong relationship during our two seasons together at Huntington Prep,” Fulford said. “Teki is certainly a talent, but he really is a better person. Our fans will see that once they get to know him. He is such a genuine young man and has an engaging personality. He fits the type of student-athlete coach Anderson will recruit to Mizzou.”
Gill-Caesar joins Notre Dame transfer Cam Biedscheid and fellow freshman D’Angelo Allen as long, athletic perimeter scoring threats.
He becomes the fifth freshman in Missouri’s 2014 recruiting class along with Allen, power forward Jakeenan Gant, shooting guard Namon Wright and point guard Tramaine Isabell.