Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak and his staff landed their top target for the class of 2015, on Thursday, as local product Makol Mawien committed to the Runnin' Utes. Mawien, a Rivals Top 150 recruit, had been a Utah lean for some time and he took to Twitter last night to make things official before the staff headed off to China with the Pac-12 All-Stars.
"Just committed to the University of Utah program. I'm excited to be a part of their program!! Can't wait to play for my home city," Mawien announced on Twitter.
Mawien's decision was a collective one, due to how close he is with his family. "It was mostly my family," he said. "They thought it was a great place for me and wanted me to stay home and so, I also think it's a good place for me too," he said.
According to Mawien, his final three were Utah, Gonzaga, and BYU. However, it is safe to say, he has been a Utah lean for a while now. "As I got to know the players more, like Delon Wright, Brekkott Chapman, and Jordan Loveridge-there's great people there, so a while ago, I kind of was leaning towards them," he explained.
It was initially anticipated that a school decision could come as soon as July 14th, but that day came and passed. Mawien was waiting for his dad to get into town from Sudan, so that he could give his blessing and check out the situation for himself. "Me and my dad talked, he wanted me to go to Utah-he also went to Utah when he was in college (as a student). Yeah, he wanted me to stay home, he thought it would be best for me," said Mawien. "He also liked (coach Krystkowiak), too."
When the call was made, both sides were ecstatic. "They were excited," said Mawien. "They were happy I chose them and we can't wait to get started."
Over the summer, Mawien's star has continued to rise, but Utah remained on the top of his mind as he competed in the Nike Skills Academy and then was invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy. Throughout those two experiences, Mawien believes he learned some valuable lessons. "I learned a lot of stuff there," he said. "I'm applying it to my practice and I'm (playing) a lot better."
With the commitment now out of the way, Mawien will look to develop more, get better, train, and focus on school. When the 2015-16 basketball season arrives, Mawien is eager to get to work in front of a packed Jon M. Huntsman Center. "I just want to make a big difference, give all I got, and show people what I can do," he said.