The Maryland men’s basketball program secured a commitment from Jamie Kaiser Jr., a four-star prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, on Sunday afternoon. Kaiser chose the Terrapins over Indiana and Virginia.
Kaiser, a 6-foot-6 wing, is considered the No. 101 recruit nationally and the 13th-best player in Virginia, according to the 247 Sports composite ratings. Kaiser said during Sunday’s announcement that he has attended Maryland games since he was in first grade and wants to help “bring the energy back” to the program.
Kaiser played at Bishop Ireton High in Alexandria last season and will finish his high school career at IMG Academy, the powerhouse program in Bradenton, Fla. Kaiser’s stock rose through the summer, with other major schools extending scholarship offers, but Coach Kevin Willard managed to land a commitment from the local prospect.
“It’s just a dream, stepping out in front of your hometown, get to play in front of your people,” Kaiser said on a YouTube live stream after announcing his decision. “They’re going to support you the most. Coach Willard said he was going to give me a large role right away, and that’s something that I really wanted.”
Kaiser is the highest-rated high school recruit that Willard and his staff have landed since taking over the program in the spring. Willard bolstered his roster for the 2022-23 season primarily through transfers, but he also added a pair of freshmen: Frederick native Noah Batchelor, a three-star wing, and Canadian center Caelum Swanton-Rodger.
As transferring becomes increasingly common in college basketball, Willard said after his hiring that teams should be “extremely strategic” with adding transfers and “you cannot get away from recruiting talented high school freshmen and developing those freshmen with your culture, your work ethic.”
In the 2023 class, Kaiser joins Jahnathan Lamothe, a 6-4 guard and three-star prospect from Baltimore. He’s considered the 145th-best recruit nationally and the No. 4 player in Maryland. (A year ago, he had cracked the top 50 in the 247 Sports composite ratings.) Kaiser and Lamothe are set to debut for Maryland in the 2023-24 season.
Willard will have a senior-laden roster this season that includes returning starters Donta Scott and Hakim Hart, along with senior transfers Donald Carey (Georgetown) and Jahmir Young (Charlotte), so this recruiting class could be tasked will filling important voids during Willard’s second season. So far, he has two top local prospects in that group.
“If everyone stayed home, there’d be tons of banners up there,” Kaiser said. The D.C. area has “the best of the best, but they all go different places. I think if Coach Willard can keep guys like myself and other players like [Lamothe], we can really make something special happen at College Park.”