CavsCorner - Big man Gapare talks UVa, interest in the Cavaliers
{{ timeAgo('2022-05-13 16:02:57 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Big man Gapare talks UVa, interest in the Cavaliers

Tony Bennett has made an impress on 2023’s Tafara Gapare.
Tony Bennett has made an impress on 2023’s Tafara Gapare. (Getty Images)

In talking with different sources in and around the area, it’s clear that Tony Bennett and his staff are trying to find a prospect in the 2023 class that is similar to the playing style of Mamadi Diakite, who of course played an integral role in Virginia winning the 2019 national championship.

One prospect that has caught the staff’s eye to potentially fill that role is Tafara Gapare who was a one time George Washington commit for the 2022 class.

Right now, Gapare is slated to be a senior at South Kent School next year and has been a standout for Team Melo this spring, averaging 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Virginia has yet to offer Gapare but in talking with him recently it sounds like conversations with the Wahoos are heating up.

“Virginia just started to reach out to me last month” Gapare told CavsCorner, “but we are starting to talk a little more and more now,It seems like they are becoming more interested in me.”

Gapare is originally from New Zealand, a place where the Hoos have obviously had history. That is one of the connections Virginia has with Gapare.

“I know Taine Murray and he has been telling me a lot about the program,” he explained. “He said it is a really fundamental school. I know they like to play inside out and Taine has talked to me about that.”

In addition to the friendship with Murray, former Virginia big man Jack Salt is someone from whom Gapare has been able to gather info as well.

“I actually first met Jack when I was at the Next Generation Final Four showcase in 2019,” he recalled, “and I have been able to keep up with him a little since I first met him.”

Bennett has been the lead recruiter for Gapare and the 6-foot-8 forward has been enjoying what the four-time ACC Coach of the Year has been telling him thus far.

“I have enjoyed getting to know Coach Bennett better,” he said. “I have learned much more about the campus and he has told me about the special UVa culture they have there.”

Bennett has been able to show Gapare some different videos about the school and the program and those videos have been vital as he continues to learn more.

“I have learned that it is a big place and it is a real family environment,” Gapare said. “Everybody seems to be really close. There are a lot of positive vibes about the place.”

As mentioned earlier, Virginia has not yet offered which is a big part of why Gapare hasn’t been on Grounds.

“With me not having an offer from Virginia yet, I would probably just take an unofficial visit to Virginia,” he said. “However, if that goes well and my recruitment heats up with them, I could then see myself taking an official visit.”

It is also important to note that Gapare could possibly join a college program this upcoming fall and be a member of the 2022 class but as of now it seems like he thinks it would be best to go to South Kent for his senior year of high school.

“I could certainly enroll in a school this fall if I were to find the right situation,” he said, “but as of now I plan on going to South Kent for one more year.”