June 16, 2024

Five-star forward Asa Newell committed to Georgia on Wednesday, becoming Mike White’s highest-ranked recruit since taking over the Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team.

Newell becomes just the second five-star prospect to commit to Georgia since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007.

“I believe in Coach White and what he is doing with the program,” Newell told ESPN. “I am confident in him, and he is with me that we can turn this program around. He holds his players accountable but is positive about it.”

Newell chose Georgia over a final four that also included Gonzaga, Alabama and Texas. The Bulldogs were considered the favorite for much of his recruitment; Newell grew up in Athens, Georgia, and his younger brother, Jaden, is a walk-on for the Georgia men’s basketball team.

“My brother is on the team and has been very positive about how the program is daily,” Asa Newell said. “I have seen how his body and game have changed. I was born in Atlanta but lived in Athens, Georgia, for 10 years. It’s home for me. Yes, they have won back-to-back national championships in football. That’s great. They are also hungry for Georgia basketball to be great. I want to build a legacy at Georgia.”

A 6-foot-9 power forward who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), Newell is the No. 2 player at his position nationally and ranks No. 11 overall in the ESPN 100 for the 2024 class. He has represented USA Basketball on two separate occasions, suiting up for the U17 national team at the 2022 World Championships and for the U19 team at the 2023 World Championships. He started his senior season in impressive fashion at the Border League in Las Vegas earlier this month, averaging 12.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in three games.

Newell is a long, left-handed forward who is starting to blossom late in his high school career. He possesses true versatility with his ability to play a point forward or a small forward in today’s game. His jumper has solid mechanics and he’s shooting it with confidence, forcing defenders to guard him on the perimeter. He runs with fluid strides and is always a lob threat with excellent hands and leaping ability. Newell can play at the pitch-post, low block or as a cutter to the basket, and he will be a threat to score or facilitate. Defensively, he needs to improve his strength and balance when guarding the post, but he is a willing defender who can switch and slide his feet.

“Asa is more comfortable all around,” Montverde assistant Kevin Boyle Jr. said. “More physical attacking in transition and on half-court drives. Last year a lot of times, if he got bumped at all when trying to attack, he would stop and pick the ball up and be unsure of himself. He is doing a better job playing through physicality and finishing at the rim and getting to the free throw line. Like most players who first come here, they think they must score to play. Asa is very comfortable now in his role and he knows he is getting minutes as a senior. He is very talented.”

Newell is the first commitment in the 2024 class for White and Georgia, although the Bulldogs are also in pursuit of top-10 prospect Derrion Reid, who visited Georgia the same weekend as Newell, and top-25 forward Khani Rooths, who tripped to Athens in early October.

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