Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats recruit Ayton reportedly returning to Phoenix this week after visa issue in Bahamas


Jerry Meyer, the director of scouting for 247Sports tweeted last night that the Arizona Wildcats’ high-profile recruit, center DeAndre Ayton, was stuck in his native Bahamas with “a Visa issue.”

Meyer took it one step further in a later tweet mentioning he has “serious doubts” about Ayton playing in college because of his earning power as a potential pro and questions about his academic eligibility gained from the Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix.

Ayton was not with his Hillcrest teammates for their games at the Marshall County (Ky.) Hoop Fest this weekend. He reportedly recently visited the Bahamas and was not been able to return.

Meyer provided an update Sunday afternoon on Ayton’s visa status:

His previous tweet last night:

Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports and ESPN all rank Ayton as the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2017. He has signed with Arizona.

Ayton is a 7-foot, 235-pound center who Sean Miller called “one of these once in a generation types of players” when Ayton signed his national letter of intent last month.

“Whoever the experts are that have him potentially as the number one player in his class, that’s how we look at him,” Miller said. “That’s how I look at him. So it’s obviously a great day to be able to have somebody of that talent coming into our program.”

When Bruce Pascoe of The Arizona Daily Star asked Miller in a press conference if a possibility exists that Ayton turns pro overseas rather than play for Arizona — similar to Terrence Ferguson in Australia this year — Miller said emphatically: “He is going to go to college.”

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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