Peyton Watson, a 6-foot-7 wing from Long Beach Polytechnic High School who is rated the top basketball recruit in California, committed to UCLA on Monday.
He made the announcement on his Twitter account, writing “On A Mission Tryna Shift The Culture” above a photo with the embedded caption “UCLA Committed”
ESPN and 247Sports both listed him atop their California player rankings for the 2021 class. ESPN has him at No. 25 overall, and 247Sports has him at No. 8.
Among the other schools that reportedly were on Watson’s short list were Gonzaga, Washington, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon and Southern California.
“I’m the No. 1 player in California, and I feel like UCLA is the original blue blood,” Watson told ESPN. “It’s hard to pass up an amazing school where my parents can see me play and have the support of my community behind me. …
“I think I can make a huge impact immediately with my versatility and skill set. My goal is to lead UCLA to a national championship.”
Watson is the second top recruit for coach Mick Cronin in the upcoming class, joining four-star shooting guard Will McClendon from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas.
According to ESPN, Watson produced 23.5 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game last season.