After an unofficial visit last week, the 6-foot-8, 247-pound center from Starkville High School was quickly sold on MSU. He made a verbal commitment Thursday to play basketball for Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs starting in 2012.
"That visit was a game-changer," said Ware, who raved about the Templeton Athletic Academic Center and the new basketball practice facility.
Ware took part in a team camp at MSU recently and said he was blown away by Mize Pavilion, a nearly 29,000-square foot basketball-only facility that was just completed. The close-up view of MSU gave Ware reason to go ahead and make his decision, which he originally had planned to make early next year.
Ware chose MSU over offers from Alabama, Georgetown, Missouri and Tennessee. He made his decision Tuesday and decided Thursday morning to make the announcement, which he did in a press conference at Starkville High's library.
He intends to sign in November.
"The reason why I chose the school is because it gives me endless possibilities as far as academics and athletics," he said.
Being close to home is a big deal, too.
"He can go off for a week, and he's calling on Wednesday, 'Dad, I'm ready to come home,'" said his father, Calvin Ware. "I'm so happy he signed with Mississippi State."
The 6-foot-8, 247-pound Ware averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and five blocks per game his junior season, which for him was cut short by a knee injury in February. The Yellowjackets made the Class 6A state tournament without him but lost to Meridian in the semifinals.
Ware, a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, is the third member of MSU's 2012 commitment class. The others are guards Craig Sword of Montgomery (Ala.) Carver and Fred Thomas of Jackson's Jim Hill.
Starkville coach Greg Carter has seen Ware make improvements in his game since the end of the 2010-11 season. He recently led his AAU team to the state title.
"He's more of a presence inside now," Carter said. "Teams have to game plan to stop him first, which helps everybody else out."
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571