University of Kansas

Versatile Netherlands native Tristan Enaruna begins KU basketball recruiting trip

A look back at the ups and downs of KU’s season

The KU basketball team started the season ranked No.1 in both the AP and coaches polls. By the time the season ended their hopes of winning a 15th consecutive Big 12 title vanished.
Up Next
The KU basketball team started the season ranked No.1 in both the AP and coaches polls. By the time the season ended their hopes of winning a 15th consecutive Big 12 title vanished.

Tristan Enaruna, a rising senior guard/forward out of Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, begins his official campus recruiting visit to Kansas on Sunday after trips last week to his other two finalists — Miami and Creighton.

Enaruna, who is originally from the Netherlands — he arrived in the U.S. midway through his junior year of high school — is ranked No. 49 in the basketball recruiting Class of 2019 by 247sports.com, No. 95 by ESPN.com and No. 105 by Rivals.com.

The versatile player, whose ranking figures to improve following a standout performance at a Basketball Without Borders event in mid-February in Charlotte, North Carolina, remains somewhat of a mystery, considering he’s listed as 6-foot-10 on his high school roster, 6-9 by 247sports.com, 6-8 by ESPN.com and 6-7 by Rivals.com.

Enaruna’s high school coach, David Evans, confirmed to The Star in an instant message that Enaruna indeed is 6-10, impressive considering he plays all five positions on the court.

“Senior Tristan Enaruna is a walking bucket from anywhere on the hardwood. As an uber-versatile wing, his work rate on both ends of the floor is second to none,” reads his profile on Wasatch Academy’s official website. “With a wingspan of 7-foot and a sizable weight of 198 pounds to go with his 6-10 frame, he is one of very few players in high school who can legitimately guard all five positions for extended stretches.”

Enaruna — he averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game his senior season at Wasatch Academy — was listed as one of the top international players at the Basketball Without Borders event by 247sports.com.

“The light has been flickering for Enaruna as a prospect throughout his senior season at Wasatch Academy. It went from flickering to ‘on’ at Basketball Without Borders,” writes Evan Daniels and Josh Gershon at 247sports.com. “Enaruna has always had the physical tools, possessing fine length and good athleticism, but his game and confidence are advancing. At Basketball Without Borders, Enaruna played with purpose, knocked down long-range shots with ease and showed an impressive feel and IQ for the game. Enaruna has the versatility to play as a wing or a face-up 4-man in college. Oozing with potential, Enaruna’s best days are ahead of him and with added strength he’ll evaluate further as a prospect.”

Enaruna on April 15 cut his list of schools to KU, Creighton and Miami. He’s heard from Duke and Kentucky the past year as well as Texas, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Illinois and others.

“I’m looking for a place that gives me an opportunity to grow as a player, get a lot bigger — somewhere I can play right away — somewhere I can trust people that recruited me so that when I go somewhere I won’t be doing stuff we’ve never talked about or sit the bench the whole game. I think that’s the most important thing,” Enaruna told Draftexpress.com in an interview conducted during the Basketball Without Borders event.

Enaruna, whose dad was born in Nigeria and mom born in the Netherlands, fits the profile of a modern big man — somebody who can play both on the perimeter and in the paint.

“Today’s game is about skill and versatility and Enaruna has proven to have both,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He can play as a big wing or you can play him as a face-up 4-man in a smaller lineup. He didn’t come to the United States from the Netherlands until mid-year last season and added exposure has helped his cause quite a bit.”

If Enaruna keeps progressing, he projects to play professionally some day.

The Netherlands has produced six NBA players — big men Dan Gadzuric, Francisco Elson, Rik Smits, Geert Hammink and Swen Nater, plus guard Hank Beenders.

“I think I fit in because today the NBA is basically positionless,” Enaruna told Draftexpress.com. “Bigs right now can drive and shoot and have got to be able to guard more than one position. I think I’ll fit in that situation pretty well. For me, it’s really important if I’m looking at the NBA to work on my body a lot. I’ve got to get stronger, get some weight on. I think that will be good.”

Roel van de Graaf, the youth director of BC Apollo Amsterdam who has coached Enaruna, told the Omaha World-Herald that Enaruna has the work ethic to take him far in the game.

“Basketball is one of the toughest sports in the world to teach, with so many aspects, so many technical skills,” van de Graaf told the World-Herald. “Tristan ... he’s a very quick learner. He has a great understanding of the game together with a passion that you don’t see a lot.”

“This year, he just turned a corner,” his high school coach, Evans, told the World-Herald. “And, I mean, lately in open gym? He’s been killing it. He gets better every day.”

Enaruna — who tweeted photos of himself on his trips to both Creighton and Miami — has not set a date to announce his college choice. His visit to KU will be his last official campus visit during the recruiting process.

Hall on KU’s list

Josh Hall, a 6-foot-9, 190-pound junior small forward from Moravian Prep Academy in Hickory, North Carolina, has been offered a scholarship by Kansas, Rivals.com reports.

Hall, the No. 139-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, is considering KU, Oklahoma State, Florida, North Carolina State and others.

“It was special to get that offer, and I was actually shocked when they (Jayhawks) actually offered me,” Hall said to Rivals.com. “Coach Roberts (Norm, KU assistant) told me to do just do what I do and he had faith in me. He is talking to me about the players that they put into the draft, like Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins and wings like that. They just have had really good success with those guys and he told me I remind him of the first time that he saw a young Brandon Ingram.”

Don't have a KC Star subscription? Help support our sports coverage

If you already subscribe to The Star, thanks for your support. If not, our digital sports-only subscription is just $30 per year. It's your ticket to everything sports in Kansas City ... and beyond, and supports our award-winning coverage.


Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments