Starkville center Gavin Ware made it official this evening when he gave a verbal commitment to play basketball for Mississippi State. He made the announcement at the Starkville High School library, flanked by his father, brother and SHS coach Greg Carter.
Ware said MSU and Alabama were his two finalists. He was also offered by Georgetown, Missouri and Tennessee.
"It gives me endless possibilities as far as academics and athletics. It's close to home," said Ware of MSU.
The 6-foot-8, 247-pounder averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and five blocks in his junior season. The 2012 prospect said he'll sign with MSU during the fall period. He's the third member of MSU's '12 recruiting class, along with guards Craig Sword (Montgomery, Ala., Carver) and Fred Thomas (Jackson Jim Hill).
Ware took a visit to MSU last week and was highly impressed by the Templeton Athletic Academic Center and the new basketball practice facility. He said he made his decision on Tuesday.
"That visit was like a game-changer," he said.
Ware had his 2010-11 season cut short by a knee injury in February, but he said it's about 95 percent. He's had a solid summer on the AAU circuit, with Carter saying Ware has become more of an inside presence.
"Early on he wasn't as big a factor on the game. Now he's a big factor on the game," Carter said. "Teams have to game plan to stop him first."
I'll have some video of Ware on the blog later tonight, and a story in Friday's Journal.