Gators In Final Eight Schools For ’24 Five Star John Bol

Grabbing an elite center has been at the top of Todd Golden’s recruiting priority list for the 2024 class ever since he got to Gainesville.


Player acquisition is a marketplace, and when it comes to elite big men–supply does not meet demand. When it comes to the transfer portal, any time a big man decides to transfer you can pencil him in for a jump of several levels of league competition–something you simply don’t see with guards and bigs. While the transfer portal is an incredible tool for acquiring talent, it’s much harder to land an impact big man in this way than it is to recruit the players you need. 


That’s why the Gators have had ‘24 center John Bol near the top of their list ever since they started recruiting the class. He has been near the top of the rankings ever since recruiting services started evaluating the 2024 class, and he currently sits as the 22nd ranked player with a five-star distinction. Originally from South Sudan, Bol now plays at powerhouse high school program Sunrise Christian in Wichita, Kansas. He also competes on the circuit for Mokan Elite, another traditional power. Given those two programs he plays for Bol is used to being part of high performance scenarios with tradition, and he’s also used to competing with the best players in the country.


With Bol, everything starts with raw physical abilities. You’ll often see him listed at 7’0”, though recently he has been listed at 7’1” and even 7’2”. He also has been reported by different sources to have a 7’8” or 7’9” wingspan, giving him length that’s about as good as it gets. Right now he is thin, 190 pounds, but the raw frame and over a year to go before he’s in college gives optimism that he’ll add some strength alongside the height and length. 


Bol’s potential as a defensive anchor is what has coaches like Todd Golden salivating. Rim protection is a centerpiece of most top offenses at the high-major level, something the Gators had with Colin Castleton and something that they’ll look to have once again with the combination of Tyrese Samuel and Micah Handlogten. Golden’s San Francisco teams also prominently featured a traditional center so it’s clear that he puts a high value on contributors at this position. On offense, Bol brings value as a lob catcher around the rim who attracts major defensive attention every time he rolls down the rim. Additionally, he’s an excellent athlete in transition who can go end to end in just a few strides and he’ll often beat the entire opposing team down the floor on his way to an uncontested dunk. 


On May 12th, Bol announced the final lists of schools he would be considering with included Florida, Texas, Wake Forest, Missouri, Michigan, UConn, USC, and Overtime Elite. 


On April 26th Bol took an unofficial visit to Gainesville and the Gators are expected to be one of the top schools in the recruitment. There is also significant buzz for Michigan, with Bol intrigued by the NBA success as a big man of Juwan Howard. 


Currently, there is no known timetable for Bol’s decision.

Eric Fawcett
Eric is a basketball coach and writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His work has been found at NBA international properties, ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @ericfawcett_.