Livingston becomes UK’s 3rd 5-star commit in ’22

  • Basketball recruiting insider.
  • Joined ESPN in 2014.
  • Graduate of University of Delaware.

  • National Recruiting Director for ESPN.com
  • 18 years of coaching experience at Division I level
  • Former Horizon League coach of the year at Wright State

Five-star forward Chris Livingston committed to Kentucky on Wednesday, giving the Wildcats their third five-star prospect in the 2022 class and the lead for the No. 1 recruiting class.

Livingston chose John Calipari’s program over Georgetown and Tennessee State, after removing Memphis from his list earlier this month.

“The history of the school and the basketball program attracted me,” Livingston told ESPN. “What coach Cal has done with past players has been impressive. He is a down-to-Earth guy. For a coaching legend, he is easy to talk to. I like how he stays connected with his former players.”

Livingston, whose aunt, Lisa, ran track at Kentucky in the 1990s, took a visit to Kentucky back in June and also took trips to Georgetown and Tennessee State in August. After Memphis made a push for Livingston in August, Kentucky regained momentum and has been the clear favorite the last few weeks.

And the Wildcats’ fans made it known.

“They have crazy love for their program,” Livingston said. “They have the strongest fans in college basketball. Since I cut my list down, the amount of tagging on social media has shown me love.”

A 6-foot-6 small forward from Ohio who recently transferred to Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), Livingston is ranked No. 12 in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class. Livingston scores best in transition, attacking the rim and finishing plays. He comes at defenses in a downhill fashion in the half court, and should get plenty of second-chance points and points in the paint.

He has the motor to be an active rebounder both in and out of his area at both ends of the floor. With explosive bounce, quick feet, speed and effort he has all the tools to be a versatile defender. He can switch out top or switch an off-ball screen and not give up space.

According to Synergy, Livingston’s long-range shooting is making progress. He made 38% of his catch-and-shoot 3s, but attempted twice as many pull-up 3s and made just 29% of those attempts. Shot quality will be important moving forward. He is strongest from the mid-range at this point in his career.

Livingston is the second significant commitment for Kentucky in the last two weeks, after No. 1 overall prospect Shaedon Sharpe picked the Wildcats earlier this month. Sharpe and Livingston join a class that already included five-star guard Skyy Clark, who committed last fall.

Calipari is poised for a potential No. 1 class in 2022, with No. 2 prospect Dereck Lively and five-star prospects Cason Wallace and Adem Bona high on Kentucky’s target board.

“I am excited,” Livingston said. “I played USA basketball with other talented players and won a gold medal. If you know yourself, it’s not a problem.”

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