MINNEAPOLIS - University of Minnesota men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson made his latest recruiting splash Thursday night, landing a commitment from power forward Parker Fox.
Fox, a Mahtomedi native, was a Division II All-American last season at Northern State. A 6-8 forward, he averaged 22.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and led the nation with 3.5 blocks per game last season. Fox didn’t have a single Division I offer when he opted to attend Northern State in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
After his junior season, Fox entered the NCAA transfer portal and his phone was suddenly ringing off the hook, getting interest from high major Division I programs across the country. One of those was from Johnson, who reached out to Fox shortly after he was hired to replace Richard Pitino.
Fox had the Gophers, Ohio State, Creighton, Florida State, Vanderbilt and TCU among his finalists before giving his commitment to Minnesota Thursday night. In a video posted to social media to the song, "I’m coming home," Fox had a montage of family photos from attending Gophers games at Williams Arena as a kid.
Fox shot 36 percent from the perimeter for the Wolves last season, and had 80 dunks. He had 39 points and eight blocks last season in a game against MSU-Moorhead, and 21 points and 21 rebounds in a game against St. Cloud State.
Fox will also join one of his former AAU teammates with the Gophers, as New Hampshire grad transfer and former Irondale guard Sean Sutherlin recently gave Johnson his verbal commitment. Johnson also has commitments from Jamison Battle, Luke Loewe and E.J. Stephens.
FORMER CHAMPLIN PARK STAR THEO JOHN HEADS TO DUKE
After three seasons at Marquette, former Champlin Park star forward Theo John entered the NCAA transfer portal this week. He didn’t stay there long, committing to Duke Friday morning.
John averaged eight points, five rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season for the Golden Eagles. But Marquette fired coach Steve Wojciechowski last month, and he was replaced by Shaka Smart. Johnson was in contact with John this week before he made his decision to head to Duke.