One of the top power forwards in the nation, T.J. Leaf, announced his commitment to UCLA live on ESPNU on Thursday evening. The top-20 national prospect was also considering Oregon and San Diego State. He was once an Arizona-commit. Last season, the San Diego native (who was actually born in Israel) averaged 27.4 points and 14.2 rebounds per game as a junior at Foothills Christian.
“Every time I go [to UCLA], it just feels like home,” said Leaf live on TV. When asked about Bruins head coach Steve Alford, he added: “We connected very well. I think we have similar personalities.”
T.J. Leaf, a consensus five-star power forward from Foothills Christian High, committed to UCLA on Thursday afternoon in a ceremony on ESPNU.
Leaf, who is from El Cajon, a San Diego suburb, is the second five-star prospect to join the Bruins’ 2016 recruiting class, joining five-star point guard Lonzo Ball from Chino Hills. Ball signed his letter of intent Wednesday.
“Every time I go there, it just felt like home,” Leaf said of UCLA on the telecast. “I did a lot of thinking and prayer about it, and that’s where I’m supposed to be.”
He is also the third player in the class to play on the Compton Magic, the Los Angeles-based AAU team, along with four-star center Ike Anigbogu and three-star guard Kobe Paras.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Leaf de-committed from Arizona in August, and selected UCLA over other finalists Oregon and San Diego State.