On March 16, Christian Vital, a 6-foot-2 guard attending from St. Thomas Moore (CT) de-committed from UNLV after a coaching change. After visiting UConn and Louisville across the past few weeks, he announced his verbal commitment to the Huskies today, filling one of their three open scholarships for the 2016-2017 season.
Vital is ranked as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247sports, ranked 215th nationally by the latter. ESPN has him ranked eighth in the state of New York.
Vital was named to the NEPSAC Class AAA All-New England first team after his senior season, averaging close to 40% from three-point range. The Huskies sorely missed a steady deep threat last season, Vital will be one of two incoming players, along with Vance Jackson, who could fill that void.
In the regional Jordan Brand Classic, playing with future teammate Mamadou Diarra, Vital shot 3-6 from three-point range, scoring 13 points while adding seven assists and two rebounds.
Vital de-committed from UNLV after David Rice, their coach, was fired three games into the conference season and his replacement, Todd Simon, left after the season for Southern Utah.
The newest UConn Husky played at St. Thomas More last season with freshman forward Steven Enoch and also played AAU with VCU transfer Terry Larrier. He took an official visit to UConn earlier this month, on April 18. He also visited Louisville on April 22.
After his official visit to UConn, which his mother was unable to attend, he took an unofficial visit on Monday to take her to meet Kevin Ollie.
"I wanted my mom to meet Kevin Ollie," he said to SNY.tv on Wednesday.
With Jalen Adams and Rodney Purvis (for now), in addition to Gilbert at guard, Vital looks to slide into a backup guard role, likely as the second one off the bench.
His addition strengthens an already highly-rated recruiting class from Kevin Ollie and his staff, including four four-star, ESPN top 100 recruits Alterique Gilbert, a guard, and forwards Juwan Durham, Vance Jackson and Mamadou Diarra. All four received a grade above 82 on ESPN.