Argentine big man Aaliya commits to Michigan

Coveted international basketball prospect Lee Aaliya has committed to Michigan in the class of 2023, his NIL agent, Alex Saratsis, told ESPN on Saturday.

The 6-foot-9 big man from Argentina drew interest from more than 50 Division I programs after having his eligibility certified by the NCAA in early August and electing to pursue the college route, Saratsis said.

Aaliya wasn’t particularly well-known prior to a standout showing at the FIBA U19 World Cup in July. He was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 17.1 points, 9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He had 31 points, 20 rebounds and 3 blocks against Canada in that event.

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He spent the past few weeks with Argentina’s senior national team as part of its preparation for the FIBA Olympic pre-qualifying tournament, making his debut for El Alma against the Czech Republic.

Aaliya, whose father, Jeff, was a professional wrestler in Argentina after emigrating from Ghana in the late 1990s, grew up with Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata and finished the season playing for Atenas Cordoba in Argentina’s second division.

He is expected to provide important frontcourt depth for Michigan at power forward and center behind likely starters Olivier Nkamhoua and Tarris Reed. Aaliya is an outstanding pick-and-roll finisher who brings strong activity, feel for the game and timing with an improving skill level.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.

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