Maryland basketball announces signing of Braden Pierce

Maryland’s final commitment in the 2023 class is officially in the fold as the signing of IMG Academy (FL) three-star center Braden Pierce was officially announced by the program on Thursday morning.

Pierce became the fourth commitment in head coach Kevin Willard’s first full recruiting class after announcing his commitment in late January, shortly after his official visit.

“He came to IMG I guess earlier, maybe September or October. They saw me play and they liked how I was developing, and he said they really needed a big for next year,” Pierce said at the time. Pierce also took in Maryland’s win over Michigan in early January before returning to campus later that month for his official.  “I liked it a lot. I know the students weren’t back, but it was a really good environment. I talked to [Cox]. I toured campus a little bit before then talked with coach [David] Cox a little bit after too. I liked the campus,” Pierce added.

Pierce joins Deshawn Harris-Smith, Jamie Kaiser and Jahnathan Lamothe for next year’s roster while Willard added Chance Stephens out of the transfer portal. Pierce gives Maryland additional size in the frontcourt behind Julian Reese, along with giving Willard a pair of 7-footers on the roster with Caelum Swanton-Rodger to bolster the long-term outlook in the paint.

Via release:

“Braden has impressed us with his development over the past year as an athletic 7-footer,” said head coach Kevin Willard. “He’s unique in that his start in basketball was later than most, but we think he has great potential on both ends of the court.”
This past season, Pierce averaged a double-double along with four blocks per game. 
The native of Woodstock, GA, is a three-star prospect by as well as He played at River Ridge High School and played on the AAU circuit with the Atlanta Xpress before taking his postgraduate year at IMG Academy.
In addition to Maryland, Pierce was also recruited by Missouri, Vanderbilt, Pitt, N.C. State, and Rutgers.

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