Michigan basketball goes international to add to 2023 recruiting class

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Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard encourages the crowd to get loud during an NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Center on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Michigan defeated Michigan State 84-72.Sydney Verlinde | MLive.com


Michigan’s basketball program has gone international to add to its roster for the 2023-24 season.

Lee Aaliya, a 6-foot-9 big man from Argentina, has committed to the Wolverines, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The 18-year-old is a late addition to the 2023 recruiting class and will fill one of Michigan’s two remaining scholarship spots for next season.

Although Aaliya isn’t ranked by U.S. recruiting services, he garnered interest from more than 50 Division I schools, according to his NIL agent, Alex Saratsis. He was cleared by the NCAA in early August, making him eligible to play this season.

Aaliya is expected to provide depth in the Wolverines’ frontcourt, joining Tarris Reed Jr. and transfers Olivier Nkamhoua and Tray Jackson.

The big man emerged as a recruit following a breakout performance at the FIBA U19 World Cup in July. He averaged 17.1 points, 9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game and was named to the all-tournament team.

Aaliya spent the past few weeks with Argentina’s senior national team as part of its preparation for the FIBA Olympic pre-qualifying tournament.

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