Illinois announced Friday that forward Anthony Higgs has signed with the program and will join the team for the fall semester.
The 6-foot-8 Higgs, from Baltimore, hopes to fill a void in the Illini frontcourt caused by multiple early departures. He helped lead Perry Hall High School to consecutive Maryland state titles in 2017 and 2018 while averaging 10.5 points, eight rebounds and four blocks during the state semifinals and finals.
“Anthony is a versatile forward with the ability to play multiple positions in our system,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said in a statement. “He is a long, athletic lefty who can play inside or step out and face the basket, and he is a strong rebounder. Most importantly he is a winner, as evidenced by being a two-time state champ in Maryland, a place known for tremendous high school basketball.”
The three-star recruit was ranked as the 13th-best player in Maryland in the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. He signed with Ole Miss in November but was released from his letter of intent and reopened his recruiting after a coaching change.
He also received offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, Xavier, Virginia Tech and Kansas State. Higgs becomes the first Illini recruit from Baltimore since guard Chester Frazier, who played in Champaign from 2005 to ’09.
Higgs joins an incoming class of fellow freshmen Ayo Dosunmu, Tevian Jones, Alan Griffin, Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Samba Kane and junior-college transfer Andres Feliz. Kane is not on campus this summer because of a transcript issue but hopes to rejoin the team this fall.
Since the end of last season, Illinois has seen leading scorer and rebounder Leron Black leave with a year of eligibility remaining to pursue a professional playing career and fellow forwards Michael Finke and Greg Eboigbodin decide to transfer.