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Basketball Recruiting

MAITC: Top-35 2025 prospect Niko Bundalo talks his recruitment

June 25, 2023

It’s been a breakout summer for Uniontown, Ohio’s Niko Bundalo. The 6-foot-10 forward, who attends Western Reserve Academy now after spending his first two seasons at Green, is amidst a huge last two months that began with a high-major offer from Xavier.

This past season at Green, Bundalo posted very solid numbers for a sophomore that was surrounded by some top-notch upperclassmen talent. Despite that, Green posted totals of 12.5 points and nearly 6.0 boards per game.

When I walked into the gym at Blair Academy in New Jersey on Friday, Budalo hitting a long-distance three was the first thing that I saw and it would be a feat that he kept up all weekend long. 

Following Friday’s slate of games at the Mid-Atlantic Independent Team Camp, Budalo and Western Reserve Academy put up a 78-spot and Budalo dropped 30 points and hit six threes. In addition, he had two blocks against multiple high-level big men.

Speaking of that Western Reserve Squad, they’re a team I feel will have a huge year, even on a national landscape. Between the two elite-level Marquette commits in Royce Parham and Damarius Owens, and a potential five-star 2025 prospect in Bundalo, this WRA squad can be a team to keep tabs on during the upcoming 2023-24 high school season.

I watched many coaches file in the gym on Friday and Saturday to watch Bundalo, many of whom have even extended a scholarship. He’s rising as a recruit and I believe an influx of schools will enter the mix over the next few days.

Bundalo talked about his recruitment and a breakdown of his game with

Which schools would you say are the heaviest involved in your recruitment?

“Well, I mean all of them stay in touch but Michigan State is a huge one, Iowa, Xavier, Ohio State.”

Who are the newest interests? 

“Michigan State just recently became a big contributor once they found out about me. Other than that, I’m waiting on some new ones,  but I’m sure with the grace of god more is to come in the future.”

Michigan State. Have they made a pitch to you yet and thoughts on them are?

“I think they have an unbelievable program. And they haven’t [made a pitch]. I can’t speak on anything yet but they’re a big contributor to my recruitment.”

Xavier, thoughts on them and what have they pitched to you?

“I think in the past few years and the years to come they have become a top program. They were my first high-major offer, so Coach [Sean] Miller is huge in my recruiting and I talk to him a lot.”

How about Iowa and the success they’ve had with their forwards, thoughts?

“I think Coach McCaffery and the surrounding staff have a great development system for their bigs having had another player drafted. They’re one of those schools that consistently show up and get wins.”

Do you have any visits in the works?

“I don’t have anything currently set in stone, but I have a lot of schools I plan on visiting once the last live period is over.” 

For those who don’t know, how would you break down your game?

“I think the best aspect of my game is my versatility whether it’s on offense, hitting threes catch and shoot off the dribble, taking someone in the post or mid-post or just breaking someone down and blowing by them, or on defense with rebounding and shot-blocking. I also defend one through five.”

And how do you want to improve your game?

“I want to get better at guarding ball screens, handoff actions, and things like that.”

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