Duke basketball top commit Mackenzie Mgbako reopens recruitment

Former Duke basketball commit Mackenzie Mgbako (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball commit Mackenzie Mgbako (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) /

The top ranked player committed to Duke basketball will no longer be playing there. 

Kyle Filipowski’s decision to return to the Duke basketball team came with major repercussions on Tuesday morning as five-star commit Mackenzie Mgbako has decided to reopen his recruitment.

The decision, which was rumored to be coming early Tuesday, was first reported on On3.

“After long thought, prayers, and discussions with my parents and trusted advisors, I am writing to formally request a release from my NLI to Duke University,” Mgbako said in a statement.

The 6-foot-8 forward is ranked as the No. 7 player in the Class of 2023, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, and the No. 3 player in the state of New Jersey.

“While I have great appreciation and respect for the Duke coaching staff and fans for their interest in me, I feel that there will be other places for me to continue my basketball journey, so I will be re-opening the recruiting process to all schools.”

Mgbako committed to Duke last April during the Nike Hoop Summit and signed his National Letter of Intent with the program in November.

ALSO READ: Kyle Filipowski makes decision on NBA Draft

The Roselle Catholic (NJ) forward participated in the McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit in the last two weeks and the trip to Portland was much more beneficial for the former Blue Devil signee than his experience in Houston.

Mackenzie Mgbako did not attempt a shot in the McDonald’s All-American Game despite playing 15 minutes but finished with 22 points and eight rebounds for Team World in the Nike Hoop Summit.

Mgabko told the assembled media two weeks ago that he expected to win a championship during his time with the Blue Devils.

Louisville is expected to be a heavy suitor for the New Jersey native as former Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith was a big part of Mackenzie Mgbako’s recruitment when he was still with the Blue Devils.

Mgbako becomes the first Duke player to request out of his National Letter of Intent since Boogie Ellis.

Duke basketball roster taking form for major season ahead

Duke has seen Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II enter the 2023 NBA Draft while junior point guard Jeremy Roach did the same while maintaining his college eligibility.

Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell, along with Filipowski, have announced they will be returning to Durham for their sophomore seasons.

ALSO READ: Jeremy Roach still unsure of future after announcement

Despite the loss of Mackenzie Mgbako, Duke still has the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports, headlined by Jared McCain, Caleb Foster, Sean Stewart, and TJ Power.

“Sending a big thanks to all my supporters, friends, and family for continuing to show love,” Mgbako concluded.

Biggest recruiting prospect targeting July announcement. dark. Next