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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Kobi Simmons set to become UA’s latest McDonald’s All-American

Courtesy of Kobi Simmon on Twitt
Kobi Simmons, a freshly committed UA basketball recruit, stands with head coach Sean Miller and assistant coach Emanuel Richardson on Sunday, Jan. 17. Simmons captioned the photo “Coaches Came To Visit Me Today !”

Kobi Simmons will join an exclusive list when he puts on his McDonald’s All-American jersey Wednesday night.

Of all the great players that have come through the Arizona basketball program, only 20 have previously donned the honor of McDonald’s All-American.

The most recent Wildcats to play in the game include Aaron Gordon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley, Stanley Johnson and Allonzo Trier.

Simmons, a 6-foot-5 point guard from Alpharetta, Georgia, is next.

He holds the all-time scoring record at St. Francis High School and is considered a consensus five-star recruit.

But Simmons has already set his focus on joining the program in Tucson.

“I’m looking forward to just getting ready to play and being a Wildcat, and seeing how far we can take our team into the national tournament,” Simmons said in an interview with ESPN earlier this week.

Simmons knows Arizona basketball has immense support in Tucson. However, there are always positives and negatives to picking a school that is just right.

“You have the positives of knowing that everybody in Tucson is behind your back, and you got everybody supporting you,” Simmons said. “But then you have some people that say, ‘You should’ve went to Kentucky or wherever else.’ I just made the best decision for me and the Arizona coaches are making sure I’m doing well, and it’s great.”

Tucson’s community and fan-base was an influence on Simmon’s decision to commit to the UA.

McKale Center is home to a loyal fan base and known to be a difficult venue for visitors because of the level of noise and the intensity of the fans.

“When I came on my visit, I was taking pictures with people in restaurants,” Simmons said. “After the game, I was signing autographs. I feel like I’m already a part of the family. The fans are crazy, I love it.”

Simmons looks forward to wearing No. 2 at Arizona and playing alongside players with whom he already has a great relationship.

He is also eager to start playing under Arizona head coach Sean Miller, who already knows Simmons well after watching and recruiting him throughout high school.

Even though next year’s Wildcats will have plenty of new pieces, Simmons already feels like he is a part of the team and established good relationships with the current players.

In particular, Simmons remains in constant communication with Rawle Alkins about playing at Arizona next season

But before Simmons finishes his senior year and arrives at Arizona, he has one more major milestone to knock out: the McDonald’s All-American game.

The game takes place at the United Center in Chicago and will tip off at 6 p.m., Wednesday, televised on ESPN.

“This experience will show me where my game stands, playing with players that will all be in college next year, and competing on the highest level,” Simmons said. “It feels crazy to be a McDonald’s All-American. It’s a blessing.”

Follow Gia Trevisan on Twitter

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