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Washington State inks first player in 2020 recruiting class, adding combo guard TJ Bamba

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 16, 2019

Kyle Smith speaks during a news conference in Washington State University’s Rankich Club Room on Monday, April 1, 2019, in Pullman. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Kyle Smith speaks during a news conference in Washington State University’s Rankich Club Room on Monday, April 1, 2019, in Pullman. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Tijani “TJ” Bamba has a inked a National Letter of Intent with Washington State, giving coach Kyle Smith his first signee of the 2020 class.

Bamba appeared to sign his NLI earlier in the week during a ceremony held by his high school, Denver’s Abraham Lincoln, but the school didn’t announce the player’s addition until Saturday morning.

A 6-foot-5, 200-pound combo guard, Bamba had other offers from McNeese State, Towson, Northern Colorado, University of Illinois-Chicago and Stony Brook and was rated a two-star prospect by Verbal Commits.

He averaged 13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season as a junior at Abraham Lincoln.

Bamba is of Senegalese descent and lived in Bronx, New York, attending KIPP NYC College Prep School, before he and his family moved to Colorado in an effort to boost his recruiting profile, according to the Arizona Republic.

The newspaper wrote about the Bamba while he was competing at the NCAA West Region Basketball Academy in Phoenix this past summer.

Bamba was one of only two players committed to Smith and the Cougars in the 2020 class. The other is Efe Abogidi, a 6-10 center/forward who’s playing at the NBA Global Academy in Australia.

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