By Bryan Bloodworth
NORMAL - University High School standout Keita Bates-Diop knew the time was right. so he didn't hesitate.
The 6-foot-7 junior announced he will continue his education and basketball career at Ohio State after he graduates from U-High in 2014.
"I felt like I was ready," said Bates-Diop of announcing his decision before the start of the high school season Mionday in the Intercity Tournament at IWU's Shirk Center. "I've seen everything I needed to see. I didn't think I needed to wait any longer.
"I felt really comfortable with the school, the coaching staff and the environment. When I visited I felt really comfort there. A lot of things schools offer - the big things - you can pretty much find at all the schools. There are a lot of little things you have to look for. It was a multiple of things that helped me make my decision."
U-High coach Bob Fitzgerald said the Buckeyes, who are coached by Thad Matta, are a good fit for Bates-Diop.
"Any school he decided to go to was a good fit," said Fitzgerald. "He weighed all the factors. It's been a long process, but he took a look at every option and all the factors that go into it."
Bates-Diop chose the Buckeyes over Illinois, Purdue, Michigan State, Florida and Michigan.
He is rated among the top 25 juniors nationally. He helped U-High to a second-place finish in the Class 2A state tournament last year.
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at email@example.com