NC State

Top in-state recruit makes it official by signing with NC State

Concord Robinson's Lavar Batts Jr., left, with his father Lavar Batts Sr., has signed with N.C. State
Concord Robinson's Lavar Batts Jr., left, with his father Lavar Batts Sr., has signed with N.C. State Charlotte Observer file photo

It’s official.

Lavar Batts Jr. will play for N.C. State next season, after signing a financial aid agreement, the school said Wednesday.

The financial aid agreement guarantees Batts a four-year scholarship.

Batts, who averaged 23.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game at Concord J.M. Robinson High this season, had committed to Virginia Commonwealth in September. VCU coach Will Wade left for LSU on March 20 and Batts subsequently changed his mind.

Batts, who had announced his intention to join the Wolfpack on April 1, becomes the first recruit new N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts has signed. Keatts recruited Batts when he was a coach at UNC-Wilmington.

“I’m ecstatic to have Lavar Batts joining our program,” Keatts said in a news release. “He is a player that we have seen grow and improve through his high school career, and I couldn’t be more excited to have him be the first recruit we sign at NC State. He is a quality young man that comes from a great family.

“Lavar is the prototype for what we look for – great character, athleticism, speed, strength, aggressiveness – in a player for our system.”

VIDEO: NC State Wolfpack new head basketball coach Kevin Keatts talks about recruiting during an introductory press conference at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Batts, a 6-2, 165-pound four-star point guard, is the top player in the state. He’s ranked No. 96 overall, according to 247sports.com’s composite rankings.

He is also the Wolfpack’s only recruit for the 2017 season. Thomas Allen of Garner was granted a release to pursue other options.

The late signing period for Division-I players began Wednesday and ends on May 17, the final date a player can send in his letter of intent.

Keatts has four open scholarships but that could drop with the possible return of forward Omer Yurtseven, who entered the NBA draft without hiring an agent, and guard Terry Henderson, who has applied to the NCAA for a sixth-year waiver.

The addition of Batts helps offset the loss of point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who entered the NBA draft after leading the Wolfpack in scoring in his lone college season.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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