Weber Announces the Signing of James Love III

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of high school standout James Love III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage) to a National Letter of Intent on Sunday.

A 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., James becomes the Wildcats’ second signee in men’s basketball this signing period, following the announcement of Rivals150 player Xavier Sneed (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) on Nov. 11.

The two-man signing class adds significant height to the K-State roster as Love’s 6-foot, 10-inch frame will give the Wildcats five players at least 6-foot-9 or taller for the 2016-17 season.

“James is a great addition to our basketball team,” said Weber. “He is a young man who has developed late and continues to grow. He is a great athlete who is long and has the ability to beat people down the court. He is also an excellent runner, jumper and shot blocker who competes and plays very hard. Like all players, he just needs to gain weight and strength as he develops as a player. Just like Xavier, he comes from a great family and we are excited to welcome his parents – James, Jr., and Crystal – to our basketball program.”

Love is rated among the top players in the state of Florida by a number of recruiting services, including No. 18 by 247Sports.  He will play his senior season for head coach Brent Maffett at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., which won the 2014 Class 5A state title over Lakewood. American Heritage is the high school alma mater of former Florida basketball player Kenny Boynton and Kansas City Royals’ first baseman Eric Hosmer

Although the Patriots don’t start the regular season until December, Love did record 13 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in a preseason win over Hollywood Hills on Saturday. He played at Somerset Academy in Pembroke Pines, Fla., as a junior in 2014-15. He also played AAU for Miami South Beach.

“James is a good player who is just touching his potential in basketball,” said American Heritage head coach Brent Maffett. “He has only been playing basketball for three years and is eager to learn and get better. He is a sponge who is just trying to absorb as much knowledge as he can. K-State is getting a good player.”

His father, James, Jr., played football at North Carolina for head coaches Mack Brown and Carl Torbush from 1994-97, helping the Tar Heels to 36 wins and four bowl games, while playing alongside notable future NFL players Dre Bly, Greg Ellis, Vonnie Holiday and Jeff Saturday. UNC won 11 games his senior season in 1997.

Love is the second straight Florida high school player to ink with the Wildcats after current freshman Barry Brown (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs). K-State has a long history with players from Florida, including Fort Lauderdale natives Martavious Irving (2009-13) and Naismith Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond (1986-88) and native Sunshine State players Denis Clemente (2008-10), Luis Colon (2006-10) and Jean Derouillere (1989-91). 

“With us losing Justin (Edwards) and Stephen (Hurt) next season, we felt like we needed to add an athletic wing player and versatile big with our signing class,” said Weber on the entire signing class. “By signing Xavier and James we felt like we filled both those needs. We were missing a big who could run, jump as well as block shots and complement our front court. James is a great fit with Isaiah (Maurice), Dean (Wade) and Dante (Williams).”