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Mizzou signs five 2021 basketball recruits to NLIs


The Missouri Tigers officially welcomed a host of future contributors to the men’s basketball program on Wednesday, signing five players to National Letters of Intent.

Forwards Trevon Brazile and Sean Durugordon, guards Anton Brookshire and Kaleb Brown, and center Yaya Keita all inked NLIs to play at Mizzou.

“My staff and I are beyond thrilled to welcome these guys to the program,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “They are all young men with high character, and they’ll represent Mizzou well with integrity, hard work and passion for this University. It’s a versatile group that can impact the game on all three levels offensively, wreak havoc on defense and accomplish tremendous things together.”

Brookshire is a 6-foot playmaking point guard from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri. He’s ranked No. 90 in ESPN’s 2021 Top 100 national rankings and tabbed the No. 3 player in the Show-Me state. Brookshire is a dynamic scorer, averaging 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior, captaining his team to the Missouri Class 5 state tournament semifinals before it was canceled due to COVID-19.

Brookshire was named Missouri second-team all-state after a stellar junior campaign. In January, he shined at the high-profile Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, averaging 23.6 points, 5.7 boards and 3.3 assists and shooting 44.4 percent over three games against elite national competition. Brookshire lit up Oak Hill Academy to the tune of 33 points, draining 7 of 12 from beyond the arc, and encored with a 20-point outburst the following day vs. Christ the King.

Brookshire grew up in Milwaukee before moving to Springfield in sixth grade, where he lives with his uncle, former Missouri State standout Rob Yanders.

“Anton is a special player who can shoot the lights out from deep and beat you off the bounce,” Martin said. “He’s a scoring lead guard that will make his teammates around him better.”

Brazile, a 6-foot-8 athletic small forward with a 7-foot wingspan, is a teammate of Brookshire at Kickapoo and is a ferocious dunker with a versatile offensive repertoire who excels at slashing the paint and finishing at the rim. Brazile’s athleticism allows him to alter shots defensively, protect the paint and guard multiple positions as a stretch-four.

Brazile averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game at Parkview High School as a junior before transferring to Kickapoo for his senior campaign. Brazile exploded on the travel circuit following his junior campaign and committed to the Tigers the day he received an offer, calling Mizzou “the place he always wanted to be.”

“Trevon is an explosive athlete who has the potential to be a really good player on both ends of the floor because he’s multi-dimensional,” Martin said. “His quickness at his size and length is very difficult to defend.”

Brown, the brother of current Tiger standout Kobe Brown, attends Lee High School in Huntsville, Alabama. He chose Mizzou over Minnesota and West Virginia, among others. Kaleb is a 6-foot-6 combo guard with the ability to bring the ball up the floor or slash from the wing, causing mismatch problems with size paired with speed and ballhandling.

Kaleb and Kobe reunite after leading Lee to more than 20 wins in 2018-19 and an area championship.

“Kaleb is the type of high-character guy you want in a program who studies the game all the time,” Martin said. “He embodies everything we talk about when we say Big Guard U at Mizzou, combining tremendous ballhandling skills with strength in the paint and the ability to finish at the rim through contact.”

Durugordon a 6-foot-7, 215-pound combo forward who hails from Queens, New York and currently attends Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, is ranked as the No. 38 small forward nationally by Rivals. The 3-star prospect chose Mizzou over Arizona State, Auburn and Seton Hall, among others, and plans to enroll early at Mizzou, joining the squad in January of 2021.

As a junior at Canterbury, Durugordon averaged 23 points and 11.5 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range and leading his team to a 21-2 overall record.

Durugordon is the first Queens native to join the program since Mizzou’s all-time leading scorer Derrick Chievous put together one of the best careers in program history from 1984-88.

“Sean is a physical player with a high basketball IQ who brings his hard hat on both ends of the floor,” Martin said. “He attacks the glass relentlessly and can guard every position. He’s a tough-minded guy who empties the tank every time he steps on the floor.”

Keita, a 6-foot-9 center from De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, is ranked in Rivals’ Top 150 nationally at No. 145. He’s been tabbed the nation’s No. 24-ranked center, choosing Mizzou over Iowa, Iowa State and West Virginia, among others.

Keita plays for Kent Williams at De Smet, who served as an assistant coach and hit the recruiting trail under Martin at both Tennessee and Missouri State. Keita shot 51.2 percent from the field as a junior, averaging 8.0 points and 9.2 rebounds. The 225-pound center is a force defensively, cleaning up the glass and altering shots in the paint. Keita notably snagged 26 rebounds in a single game as a sophomore.

Keita moved to the United States from Mali before high school, growing up a soccer player before switching to hoops, and his game has blossomed every year since.

“Yaya is dominant defensively, and fits everything we expect in our program,” Martin said. “He plays hard, he plays tough, and he rebounds and defends with the best of them. We’re excited to keep developing his game when he arrives on campus.”

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