Former Prior Lake star Dawson Garcia leaves North Carolina for Gophers

Prior Lake basketball star Dawson Garcia committed to Marquette on Wednesday over Minnesota, Indiana and Memphis.

The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team landed a big-time transfer in a big man on Monday that should be an immediate contributor for the 2022-23 season.

Former Prior Lake star Dawson Garcia, a top-30 recruit in the nation two years ago, announced on social media he’s transferring home to play for Ben Johnson and the Gophers. Garcia spent last season at North Carolina, but left the program midway through the season due to family medical issues. Garcia played in 16 games for the Tar Heels and got 12 starts, averaging nine points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

"Homegrown! Committed" Garcia posted to Instagram on Monday, with a Gophers "M."

Garcia had a 26-point game against Purdue last season. He originally signed with Marquette as a freshman two years ago, and averaged 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

At 6-11 and 235 pounds, Garcia will give the Gophers an immediate impact player in the front-court. Minnesota lacked size inside last year in a 13-17 season in Johnson’s first season. Garcia reportedly visited the Minnesota campus last Friday, and visited again with his family on Monday to make his commitment official.

Garcia becomes the first McDonald’s All-American to play for Minnesota since Kris Humphries in 2003, and Johnson's biggest recruit in almost 13 months on the job.

Garcia already used his one-time transfer from the NCAA to play at North Carolina. He’s expected to apply for a medical hardship waiver to be eligible for next season, after a tough year within his own family related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He'll join Jamison Battle, Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph, Parker Fox, Treyton Thompson and Pharrel Payne as Minnesotans on scholarship for the Gophers next season.