Auburn’s men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced today that a consensus five-star guard has signed a national letter of intent to attend Auburn, marking the first five-star recruit in the school’s history, according to the school’s website, auburntigers.com.
Mustapha Heron, a 6-foot-5, 210 pound guard from Waterbury, Connecticut, and Sacred Heart High School, is ranked as a five-star by ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals and Scout, and is among the top-25 players in the country in each of those polls.
Pearl, in his second year as Auburn’s coach, called Heron a “game changer.” “Mustapha was one of two or three players this summer whom I enjoyed watching more than anybody,” said Pearl. “You talk about productive, impossible to stay in front of, vicious at the rim, explosive with either hand, tremendous range in his jump shot, willing defender, leader and mature beyond his years.”
Heron was the New Haven Register All-State Player of the Year last year, becoming only the second junior to win the award. He averaged 22 points and 5.3 rebounds with Sacred Heart, leading the team to a 28-0 record and their second straight Class S state title since his arrival at the school. Sacred Heart failed to qualify for the post-season for the three previous years.
The left-handed Hereon played AAU ball over the summer with the New York Rens, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds for a team that finished with a 55-5 record and won five of six tournaments in which they participated. That team wound up the summer with a seventh-place ranking in ESPN’s Top 25 AAU poll.
He was invited to play for the U-18 USA Select Team in Treviso, Italy, where his team went 3-0 against teams from France and Greece, and an All-Star team including six players who declared for the NBA draft. It was the first time the USA team had won a game in the EuroCamp’s history.
Pearl expects Heron will be the third McDonald’s All-American in Auburn’s basketball history. “He is a great person and has a great family,” remarked the coach.
Heron’s father also played college basketball, at Central Connecticut State from 1985-89, averaging 14.4 points and 6.6 rebounds before playing professional ball in Europe.
Heron will join the Auburn team for the 2016-17 season.