MEN’S BASKETBALL: Gophers get ‘coup’ with commitment of Illinois guard Cam Christie

Christie had offers from Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, among many others, but he picked the Gophers, in part, due to their early interest.

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ST. PAUL -- The University of Minnesota men’s basketball program made a big splash with the commitment of Illinois guard Cam Christie on Friday.

Christie, a 6-foot-5, 165-pound guard from Rolling Meadows, Ill., had a slew of Big Ten scholarship offers, but picked Minnesota. With Kadyn Betts reclassifying to the 2022 class, Christie is the first pledge for the university in 2023.

Christie is the younger brother of Max Christie, the former five-star Michigan State guard who the Los Angeles Lakers selected 35th in the NBA draft in June.

“Paving my own path,” Christie tweeted Friday.

Christie had offers from Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, among many others, but he picked the Gophers, in part, due to their early interest.


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Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck credited how Illinois plays resembled first-year head coach Bret Bielema’s personality.

“They showed, above all else, a lot of love and a genuine belief in me,” Christie explained to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They were in the mix super early. And their entire staff was part of it.”

Joe Henricksen, who runs the City/Suburban Hoops Report in Chicago, said Christie’s commitment is a “coup” for head coach Ben Johnson.

“It goes a long way to show the capability of Ben Johnson and staff to go into the state of Illinois and get the No. 1 player in a talent-rich state,” Henricksen said.

Henricksen said Christie, who just turned 17, can play point guard or shooting guard. He described Christie as a very good shooter from 3-point range and one that can create his own shot off the dribble while also being unselfish. Christie’s wingspan is bigger than his height, and he has athleticism to be a quality defender in college, Henricksen said.


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