CINCINNATI — Taft High School junior Rayvon Griffith announced Sunday night he has made a verbal commitment to play college basketball at the University of Cincinnati.
"A hundred percent I wanted to play for (UC) coach (Wes) Miller," Griffith told WCPO. "He's a great guy. He brings a lot of energy. And I just want to be a hometown hero and represent my city."
Griffith, rated Ohio's No. 1 player in the 2023 class by 247 Sports, considered Alabama, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Kansas and UCLA as his five finalists.
Griffith verbally committed to the UC staff earlier this month. The Bearcats' staff had a jubilant reaction during a Zoom call when Griffith gave his pledge. He has a vision for his future as a Bearcat.
"Definitely win the Big 12," Griffith said. "By the time I get there they are going to be in the Big 12. Just bring Cincinnati a national championship."
Griffith said he felt a significant amount of support from the UC fan base throughout the recruiting process.
"Every time I post something on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat - they always go crazy," Griffith said. "Just the home. They always show me a lot of love even if I wasn't committed. They always told me, 'Even if you don't commit to UC we are 100% behind you.'"
Griffith received a similar joyful reaction from his family and friends when he made the news official on Sunday night.
"They were all excited for me," Griffith said. "Everybody was like, 'Oh yeah I knew you were going there.' But you know it's just exciting and fun."
Griffith, a four-star recruit, helped to lead Taft (19-8) to the Division III state title March 20 at University of Dayton Arena. Griffith scored 12 points and had five rebounds, three steals and two assists in the state final.
Griffith said he would the Senators to repeat as state champions next winter and is working toward that goal.
"Go back to back state championships for sure," Griffith said. "Go back to back I feel like that would mean a lot. Just bring another one and leave Taft the right way."
Griffith is rated the nation's No. 10 shooting guard by 247 Sports and the nation's No. 47 player overall in the 2023 class. He was named a Division III first-team all-state selection this past season by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
Griffith averaged 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block during this past season, according to the Taft athletic department.
Prior to the state tournament, he considered Louisville, South Carolina, UC, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Arizona State, Alabama and Kansas among his finalists.
Griffith announced on Twitter April 14 that he would make his college basketball commitment on May 1 and the Bearcats were joyful to start the month with the significant news.
The NCAA's Division I basketball early signing period is scheduled to start Nov. 9 when student-athletes are able to sign National Letters of Intent during their senior year of high school.