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April 21, 2024

Shrewsberry Inks Highest-Ranked Recruiting Class in Program History


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Peter and Ann Tombros Endowed Men’s Basketball Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry has signed the highest-ranked recruiting class in Nittany Lion basketball history, with five highly-touted signees inking their National Letters of Intent during the November signing period.


Penn State’s five-member class currently ranks 16th in the nation according to ESPN, 21st according to 247Sports and 27th according to Rivals, with the Nittany Lion class coming in at fourth in the Big Ten as ranked by all three ranking services.


The five-member class is comprised of Jameel Brown (Philadelphia, Pa.), Kanye Clary (Virginia Beach, Va.), Demetrius Lilley (Philadelphia, Pa.), Evan Mahaffey (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Kebba Njie (Centerville, Ohio). The five new Nittany Lions, who will join the program as the Class of 2026, will bring accomplished athletic and academic pedigrees to Penn State.


“We are excited to add these five great young men to the Penn State men’s basketball family,” said Shrewsberry. “As evidenced by the national rankings and the quality institutions that we had to beat out on the recruiting trail for this very talented quintet, all the members of this class are excellent basketball players. However, their accomplishments go beyond simply basketball. All five of these future Nittany Lions fit my vision for Penn State going forward, not only on the court, but off the court as well. Their basketball skill is complemented by their tremendous character, as well as a commitment to excellence in the classroom.”


Jameel Brown

6-4 Guard | Philadelphia, Pa. | Haverford School/Westtown | Team Final

  • 247Sports Top 100 recruit (No. 90), No. 5 overall commitment in the history of Penn State basketball according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking.
  • Rivals Top 150 Commitment (No. 148).
  • ESPN 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 23 shooting guard in the country.
  • Helped lead Team Final to 2021 Nike EYBL Peach Jam Championship.
  • Named first team All-State after junior season at Haverford School.
  • Guided Haverford School to 28-0 record, Inter-AC and Paisa Championship during freshman season.
  • Owns high school career statistics of 21.7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
  • Four-time participant in USA Basketball mini camps.



Personal: Son of Ali Brown and Aquanda Johnson-Brown…Has one older sister, Shahadah, and two older brothers, Jamaal and Muneer…Intends to major in psychology at Penn State.


Shrewsberry on Brown: “Jameel is someone that I have known and recruited for a long time. He is a tremendous player, but he is an even better person off the court. Jameel comes in and immediately boosts our outside shooting, while also possessing the ability to make others better with his passing. Landing a commitment from Jameel should have a major long-term impact for our program.”


Why Jameel Chose Penn State: “My parents preach education first and Penn State is a great academic school. I also have a great relationship with the coaching staff. Coach Shrewsberry, Coach Fisher and I have built a great relationship these past couple of months. Obviously the Big Ten is one of the best conferences in the country and you want to play against the best every day. Their vision for me and the program really stood out.”


Kanye Clary

6-0 Guard | Virginia Beach, Va. | Massanutten Military Academy | Boo Williams

  • ESPN 4-star recruit who ranks as the No. 38 point guard in the country.
  • Three-star prospect according to Rivals and 247Sports.
  • Is the No. 18 commitment in the history of Penn State basketball per 247Sports Composite.
  • Four-year captain and three-time team MVP in high school career at Princess Ann High School and Massanutten Militiary Academy.
  • Two-time first team All-District and first team All-Region 5A.
  • Averaged 21.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game during junior high school season.
  • Honor roll student.


Personal: Son of Anthony and Eledra Clary…Has one younger brother, Kyrin…Intends to major in computer science at Penn State.


Shrewsberry on Clary: “I was very excited when Kanye committed to us at the beginning of June. He is someone who can break down a defense with his speed. His ability to beat his man off the dribble in the half court and in transition puts the defense at a significant disadvantage, and his presence should make everyone on our roster better.”


Why Kanye Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn state because of the combination of the education it offers and the high-level sports.”


Demetrius Lilley

6-10 Forward | Philadelphia, Pa. | Lower Merion | Philly Pride

  • A consensus three-star recruit who is the No. 7 ranked prospect in the state of Pennsylvania per the 247Sports Composite.
  • Is the No. 31 center in the class per Rivals, and the No. 40 center prospect in the country per the 247Sports Composite.
  • Averaged 22.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game during junior season to become the first player at Lower Merion High School to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game since Kobe Bryant did so in 1996.
  • Scored 31 points to lead Lower Merion to PIAA District 1 6A championship.
  • Named first team All-Central League, first team All-Main Line and 6A PIAA second team after stellar junior campaign.


Personal: Son of Jarrad Gholston…Has two brothers, Jarrad and Jeremy, and one sister, Deja.


Shrewsberry on Lilley: “We couldn’t be more excited to add Demetrius to our program. He is a player I scouted heavily during the month of June with his high school team, and I came away very impressed. He has the basketball IQ and size and skill to be a major factor for us going forward.”


Why Demetrius Chose Penn State: “Penn State has a great atmosphere and coaching staff. When I am at Penn State, it feels like the right situation for me. The combination of academics and athletics, along with the family feel, led me to picking Penn State.”


Evan Mahaffey

6-7 Wing | Cincinnati, Ohio | Archbishop Moeller | Indiana Elite

  • Consensus three-star prospect according to 247Sports Composite Ranking. Is considered the No. 3 prospect in the state of Ohio per 247Sports.
  • No. 35 ranked small forward in the country per Rivals and No. 40 ranked small forward in the country per 247Sports.
  • Is the No. 13 overall commitment in the history of Penn State basketball per 247Sports Composite Ranking.
  • Helped lead Archbishop Moeller team to 46-6 combined record over last two seasons as well as a GCL Championship. Crusaders were 26-1 and ranked as the No. 1 team in the state of Ohio when 2020 season was cut short due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Named league’s Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-GCL, first team All-District and first team All-City.
  • Honors Society student.


Personal: Son of Jamie and Robyn Mahaffey…Has one older sister, Danielle, and one younger brother, Eric…Sister Danielle plays volleyball at Tennessee…father Jamie played basketball at Miami (Ohio)…Intends to major in marketing at Penn State.


Shrewsberry on Mahaffey: “We are excited to add Evan Mahaffey to our program. He is not only a great player on the court, but he is also a tremendous person from a tremendous family. We have high expectations for Evan and what he can accomplish. He is already an elite passer with a developing jump shot, and with his ability on the defensive end as well as his intelligence, we believe Evan will be a great fit for our program.”


Why Evan Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because of the opportunity I have to grow away from home and learn from the coaching staff. Also, I love the ability to grow from the connections available through Penn State.”


Kebba Njie

6-9 Forward | Centerville, Ohio | La Lumiere (Ind.) | Indy Heat

  • ESPN Top 100 recruit (No. 79). First ESPN Top 100 commitment for Penn State since Tony Carr in 2016.
  • No. 2 highest-ranked commitment in the history of Penn State basketball (247Sports Composite Ranking).
  • Consensus 4-star recruit, Top 150 recruit according to Rivals (No. 147), No. 15 power forward in country according to Rivals.
  • Led Centerville High School to district championship and regional runner-up status during sophomore season.


Personal: Son of Baboucarr and Siala Njie…One of four brothers…Older brother Mo plays basketball at Eastern Michigan…Father Baboucarr played basketball collegiately at IPFW and Cincinnati State…Intends to major in finance or accounting at Penn State.


Shrewsberry on Njie: “One of the players that I specifically wanted to see during the month of July was Kebba. I have great respect for both his high school and AAU coaches, and they all had great things to say about him as a player and as a person. Given his age and size, we think he is ready to make a major contribution right away, while also having a very bright future down the road.”


Why Kebba Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State to pursue my dreams and goals. I wanted to go to a school where I could excel on the court and in the classroom, and I saw this opportunity in Penn State. My main goal is to be a lottery pick in the draft and play in the NBA while at the same time be able to run my businesses.”


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