Top recruit Kahlil Whitney chooses Kentucky over Illinois, Oregon, Georgetown

Kahlil Whitney, a five-star prospect and 14th-ranked player in the 2019 ESPN 100, has verbally committed to Kentucky.

Whitney chose Kentucky over Illinois, Oregon and Georgetown. He plays high school basketball at Roselle Catholic (New Jersey), where his team went 24-0 last season.

The Wildcats got involved late in the recruiting process, as they do with most players, and offered Whitney after Peach Jam last month. Kentucky coach John Calipari and his staff do a thorough job in the evaluation process.

"After they offered, Coach Cal or one of his assistants were always at one of my games. Kentucky was my dream school," Whitney told ESPN. "Growing up in Chicago, I remember watching John Wall, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Tyler Ulis. Coach Cal is a great person and a great coach."

Whitney recently visited Kentucky as the team was preparing for its preseason trip to the Bahamas.

"I knew when I left Kentucky that it was the place for me," he told ESPN. "It felt like family. I had other visits planned, but this is where I wanted to be. When I watched the players work out, they were focused and intense. I can see myself playing there -- playing with some of the best players in the country and against high-level competition. It will prepare me for my goal to make it to the next level."