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Humphries commits to U

McDonald’s All-American from Hopkins hopes to play basketball this season

Last Friday, William Humphries offered four words of wisdom regarding the intentions of his son Kris.

“Just wait ’til Tuesday,” Humphries said.

For the University basketball program and Gopher fans everywhere, the good news came a day early.

On Monday afternoon, McDonald’s All-American and Hopkins high school standout Kris Humphries signed a Minnesota scholarship voucher and paperwork declaring his intent to enroll at the University this fall.

“It’s a great day to have a player of this caliber want to be a part of our program,” Minnesota men’s basketball coach Dan Monson said. “It’s very exciting.”

Monson said Humphries decided last week to become a Gopher, but asked that his decision remain private until the paperwork was finalized.

The signing marks the end of a turbulent four weeks for Humphries, who backed out of a national letter of intent to play basketball at Duke on May 19.

Since severing ties with the Blue Devils, Humphries and his father have been bombarded with phone calls regarding Kris’s intentions.

The 6-foot-9 240-pound Humphries made visits to Iowa State and Indiana in recent weeks before making an unofficial trip to the University on June 6.

“I am looking forward to contributing to the Gophers’ success on the court and in the classroom,” Humphries said in a statement.

“I believe that Minnesota can compete for a Big Ten title as well as make the NCAA tournament and I hope I can help make that a reality,” he said.

Monson said Humphries’ agreement is only “semi-binding,” unlike a national letter of intent, which collegiate recruits are only allowed to sign once. Humphries’ commitment will be official beginning fall semester.

Humphries averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals in his senior season at Hopkins. He also graduated with a 3.6 grade point average.

“He’s the kind of person and student that you want to represent this University,” Monson said.

Humphries is expected to continue working out at the International Management Group’s strength and conditioning complex in Brandenton, Fla. He could participate in pickup games with current Minnesota players later this summer.

He is projected to be an immediate contributor for the Gophers, especially with the loss of frontcourt starters Rick Rickert and Jerry Holman.

“He fits in from the get go,” Monson said. “To have that need be filled by one of the top players in America, if not the top player in America is awful big.

“You don’t get players of that magnitude to come along very often and you certainly don’t get one in June.”

Humphries has one more obstacle to clear before he is eligible to suit up for Minnesota.

He is awaiting word regarding his appeal to the Collegiate Commissioners Association, which administers national letters of intent.

By rule, an athlete who breaks his or her agreement with a school after signing a national letter of intent must sit out one season unless they show “extenuating circumstances.”

A decision from the CCA is expected within the next month.

Monson said Humphries’ scholarship will be granted whether or not the appeal is granted.

Brett Angel welcomes comments at [email protected]

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