New Zealand-born Zimbabwean basketball starlet Tafara Gapare is set to continue his rapid development on the US collegiate circuit after signing with the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team ahead of the 2022-2023 season.
Gapare, who was born in New Zealand before recently moving to the US for his high school education is ranked as the top player in Connecticut and the number 10 ranked power forward in America.
So talented is the 19-year-old that he is already being tipped to break into the NBA in the future.
He is classified as a four-star prospect which is reserved for very talented players and in the top fraction of a percentage of high school players in the US.
Gapare attended the NBA Global Academy and played at Scots College in Wellington before transitioning to the United States. He most recently played at South Kent School in Connecticut.
After moving to the United States, Gapare racked up over 25 scholarship offers.
He originally committed to DePaul University over the likes of Arizona State and the University of Connecticut in June.
Gapare then de-committed from the Blue Demons which left the front door open for coach Frank Martin and the University of Massachusetts to swoop in with an offer.
He announced that he will reclassify and immediately join the Minutemen for the 2022-23 season. He becomes the program’s first four-star recruit since Tre Mitchell back in 2019.
Gapare joins Keon Thompson and RJ Luis in Umass’ Class of 2022. Martin has now added nine players since joining the program in March.
“Recruiting high-level players to UMass is something that I’ve been excited about from the day I got hired,” Martin said.
“Tafara adds that to the class that is already in place. He is a 6-foot-10, skilled forward that has a chance to be an unbelievable player both offensively and defensively. He has only been in the United States for six months so he is somewhat unknown, but UMass fans will know who he is as soon as he takes the court for us.”
The University of Massachusetts announced the hiring of coach Martin back on March 25th after ten seasons with South Carolina, where he led the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Final Four in program history back in 2017.
He brings fifteen years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level to Amherst.