Top-10 guard of the 2023 class, Robert Dillingham, announced today that he would be staying in his home state of North Carolina to play for the N.C. State Wolfpack.
However, according to Joe Tipton of On3 Sports, it appears that this is after a silent commitment he made to Kentucky during his visit in late October. So what happened?
Dillingham’s recruitment has been, what you could call, “unique”. Since January, he has been considered a lock for North Carolina, Memphis, and then Kentucky before ultimately choosing N.C. State. With such big swings in his recruitment, it seems that Dillingham was easily swayed.
This was true all the way up to the last minute as Dillingham’s crystal ball predictions changed from 100% Kentucky to 100% N.C. State in the 24-48 hours prior to his commitment.
Family Drama, Kanye West, & Adidas
In October, Dillingham made the decision to leave North Carolina and attend Kanye West’s Donda Academy. According to multiple and since confirmed reports, he made the move without his father’s permission.
His father, Donald Dillingham, claims that he did not give his son permission for the move and that the school paid off his mother in order to gain Robert’s attendance. Donald also claims he spoke to Shayla Scott, the Director of Athletics and Academics at the Donda Academy, who told Donald that they were instructed not to speak to him.
Not to mention, Kanye West’s Donda Academy is sponsored by Adidas and N.C. State is an Adidas school. Leading some to believe there may be a lucrative connection there.
In addition to potential eligibility issues, some people believe that even with his commitment, Dillingham will never suit up for N.C. State and will opt to go the G-League Ignite or overseas route. However, if Dillingham does end up playing for N.C. State, he would only be the third top-10 recruit in program history, the other two being Dennis Smith Jr. and C.J. Leslie.
While he is talented, with the clouds around Dillingham’s recruitment, it appears that Kentucky may have dodged a bullet. With Cal and company’s track record in similar recruitments, they have my trust. With Kentucky in good position for many targets in the 2023 class, including No. 1 DJ Wagner, this isn’t a big loss.
While Dillingham’s recruitment has been cloudy and he didn’t choose the Cats, I wish him all the success in his future.