UVA not resting on laurels, offers top 50 North Carolina wing from class of ’24 Passmore

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Rakease Passmore (Photo: Phenom Hoop Report)

Fresh off landing one of the top 40 players in the recruiting class of 2023 on Wednesday, Virginia basketball didn’t waste any time in pursuing one of the best prospects in the class of 2024.

Tony Bennett extended an offer to 4-star wing Rakease Passmore, who will play this season for national hoops powerhouse Combine Academy of Lincolnton, N.C. Passmore announced the offer on his social media account.

The 6-foot-5 guard is ranked No. 49 nationally in his class overall by 247Sports composite, the No. 10 shooting guard and the fourth-best prospect in the state of North Carolina.

Passmore already holds offers from UVA, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Auburn, LSU, Georgia Tech, NC State, Wake Forest, Oregon, Ole Miss, Houston, Texas A&M and others.

“Rakease is one of the best upcoming players in the country,” said Combine Academy coach Michael Wright. “His skill development is trending upward to match his athleticism. He defends, rebounds and play-makes. Kease is such a humble kid, so big things will continue to come his way. My staff and I can’t wait to work with him daily.”

Passmore is originally from Florida, where he was a promising quarterback in the eighth grade. However, after he suffered a concussion, his mother, Takshia Russell, called an audible and said no more football.

Since he traded in his cleats for basketball sneakers, he has continued to improve each season. As a junior for A.C. Reynolds High in Asheville, N.C., last season, Passmore averaged 19 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He upped that scoring average to 21 points per outing during summer play for Garner Road (NC) on the Adidas 3SSB circuit.

UVA gained a commitment Wednesday from 4-star shooting guard Elijah Gertrude, the No. 36 overall ranked player in the country for the recruiting class of 2023. Gertrude is from Jersey City, N.J.