Pitt head coach Jeff Capel and his entire staff met Monday night with one of the top players in the Class of 2021.
The Panther staff met through Zoom with four-star center Franck Kepnang from Westtown School in Norristown, Pa, where he was a teammate of 2020 Pitt commit Noah Collier.
A native of Cameroon, Kepnang is a 6-foot-11, 247-pound center that is the No. 6 center in the country, the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania and rated as one of the Top 20 players in the Class of 2021. Pitt was the first major conference team to offer Kepnang, with Capel extending a scholarship just after he was hired in June 2018.
But despite those connections, landing Kepnang won’t be an easy feat for Capel. In addition to Pitt, Kepnang holds offers from Auburn, UCLA, UConn, Dayton, Fordham, Georgetown, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, La Salle, Kansas, Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn, St. John’s, Saint Louis, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, VCU, Wake Forest and Washington
Pittsburgh Sports Now had a chance to speak with Kepnang on Tuesday night to get his thoughts on Pitt and the opportunity he had to talk with the Panthers coaching staff. What stood out the most to him?
“What stood out to me was the history they told me about Pitt basketball, they had a very strong history of winning and were a powerhouse,” said Kepnang. “That was something that I really didn’t know about them. That was one big thing that I took from our talk along with it being very interesting to talk with Coach Capel and his staff. I believe that Coach Capel is a very nice guy and a naturally nice person.”
Kepnang is hearing from some of the top coaches and programs in the country, I asked him about how Capel is trying to sell him on being a big piece of Pitt’s future.
“He made it very simple and was like you’d come just like any other basketball player and all the coaches would really develop me and teach me the game,” said Kepnang. “I take his word that he would help me develop all my talents and bring out my strengths. He would put me in the best position to show off my talents.”
“I want to be an impact player so whatever team I go to, I really want to have a big impact and hopefully lead them to a championship.”
While it remains to be seen where he ends up, Kepnang told PSN that Pitt is getting a great player in his former teammate Noah Collier, who isn’t putting any pressure on him to bring his talents to Pittsburgh.
“Noah is my teammate and my brother. Pitt is getting a player with a lot of passion and when he’s on his game, he can be unstoppable. Pitt is very lucky to be getting him,” said Kepnang.
“Sometimes he jokes about it to come join him but it’s all fun and games. He knows and trusts me that I’m going to make the best decision. Of course, he’d love for me to come join him.”