Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arkansas hoops target Walsh will play senior year in Branson
One of Arkansas’ top 2022 basketball recruiting targets is going to play his senior season a lot closer to Fayetteville than expected.
Jordan Walsh, a 5-star prospect and the No. 7 player nationally, per ESPN, confirmed Sunday he will be playing his final prep season at Link Academy in Branson, Mo.
Walsh (6-7, 200), a Texas native, was planning to play this year at Castaic (Calif.) Southern California Academy.
“I just feel like (Link) is a good place for me,” Walsh said. “I have visited the campus and really like the area and I get a real sense of family, which is very important to me.
“They also play a national schedule, so I think that will help me as I continue to develop as a player.”
The Razorbacks are hosting North Little Rock guard Nick Smith, Jr. (6-5, 180) – ESPN’s No. 6 player – this upcoming weekend.
Walsh took an official visit to Arkansas on June 24-26 and has remained in constant contact with Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman and his staff.
“I had a great visit to Arkansas and have developed a great relationship with Coach Musselman,” Walsh said. “We talk all the time and have a great relationship. There is also a family feel there, so that’s important.”
Walsh led Oak Cliff (Texas) Faith and Family Academy to a state title as a freshman and has played there the last three seasons.
Link has a home scrimmage set for Nov. 2 against Vision Academy and opens its season Nov. 15. It is slated to play in Bentonville in the HoopHall South Tournament on Jan. 6-8.
Walsh is ranked 31st nationally by Rivals and 83rd by 247 Sports, making him the 39th-best player in 247 Sports composite ranking.
Walsh officially visited Arkansas, TCU and Oklahoma in June and has visits scheduled to Arizona State (Sept. 10-12), Texas (Sept. 17-19) Kansas (Sept. 24-26) and Oregon (Oct. 1-3).
He does plan on signing during the Nov. 10-17 early signing period.
“I will have all my visits done and plan to sign in November,” noted Walsh, who has Alopecia. “I’ll know all I need to know by then.”
Arkansas has three 2022 top 100 ESPN commits in Magnolia guard Derrian Ford (69), Alabama prep star Barry Dunning (77) and Morrilton small forward Joseph Pinion (94).
Former Arkansas star Mason Jones played a year at Link before moving on to junior college.
Bryson Warren, who played his sophomore season at Little Rock Central, was supposed to play at Link this season, but he announced last week his decision to turn pro and sign with developmental league Overtime Elite.
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