Former Washington State guard TJ Bamba committed Friday to play at Villanova next season. He confirmed his destination to ESPN and posted a photo to his Twitter account in a Wildcats uniform with the caption, “NOVA NATION WADDUP.”
Bamba had the chance to transfer to some of the nation’s biggest programs, including North Carolina, Texas and Kansas, but picked Villanova.
“This gives me the best chance to reach my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA,” Bamba told ESPN. “Players in my mold like Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo have gotten drafted from Villanova and proven to be valuable pieces. My hope is to follow in their footsteps.”
He announced March 27 that he would transfer from Washington State but also put his name in the 2023 NBA Draft without hiring an agent to retain his college eligibility.
Bamba averaged 15.8 points in 32.2 minutes per game for the Cougars last season, shooting 37.2 percent from 3, and was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Bamba, who is from the Bronx, said being closer to family also contributed to his choice of Villanova.
The Wildcats finished 17-17 (10-10 Big East) last season under new coach Kyle Neptune. It was their first season since 2001-02 without Jay Wright, who stepped away from coaching following the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Villanova won two national championships (2016, 2018) under Wright.
–Field Level Media