As first reported by John O’Connor from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Liberty has picked up a commitment from junior guard Curtis Blair III. Blair, a 6’5″ guard, attends the Steward School in Richmond, Virginia. Blair is rated by 247Sports as a three-star rated prospect with a rating of .9194. This makes him the highest rated recruit in program history by this service, passing Liberty’s previous highest rated recruits in Isiah Warfield and Kyle Rode who each have a ranking of .8678.
“They’ve been recruiting me since I was 14 years old, so they’ve shown lots of love, loyalty and trust in me,” Blair said on Wednesday. “It’s a good place where I can go to develop as a person and as a player. Coach McKay has laid out a plan for me to get to the next level. I think this is a good opportunity to further my game and me as a person.”
Blair committed to the Flames on Tuesday afternoon in a Zoom call with his family and Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay and assistant coach Derek Johnston.
“It was real exciting,” Blair said of committing to the Flames. “Me and my family have waited for that moment for a long time. It was real exciting. Coach McKay and Coach Johnston were real excited, that was great to see.”
In a recent interview with ASOR, Blair said that the Flames were “recruiting me the hardest, so definitely my number one.” Following the conclusion of Liberty’s season this past week, head coach Ritchie McKay hit the recruiting trail as he attempted to finalize Blair’s recruitment.
Blair has taken several trips to Liberty over the past several months as the Flames prioritized him during this recruiting cycle. Liberty offered Curtis Blair III in August 2020, and since that time the Flames’ have continued to pursue the 6’5″ guard from Richmond, Virginia. He has taken several visits to Lynchburg to check in on Liberty over the past several months, including an official visit this past fall.
The 6’5″, 200 pound guard attends the Steward School in Richmond. He is a 3-star prospect according to both 247Sports and Rivals. In addition to Liberty, Blair also has offers from Virginia Tech, Florida, VCU, and Richmond. The other schools that are recruiting him the hardest, in addition to the Flames, are Virginia Tech, South Alabama, and Tulsa. Rivals currently ranks him as the No. 139 prospect in the country for the 2023 class.
Blair has helped lead Steward to a 28-3 record this season, falling to Blue Ridge in the VISAA Division 2 state tournament semifinal. Blair averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds this season.
Blair’s dad is currently an NBA official who is originally from Roanoke, Virginia. The elder Blair played his college basketball at Richmond where he was named CAA Player of the Year in 1992 before being selected in the second round by the Houston Rockets in the 1992 NBA Draft.
Blair is the first commitment in the Class of 2023. The Flames have previously received signed NLI’s from forwards Ben Southerland and Zach Cleveland for the Class of 2022. Additionally, point guard Colin Porter, originally a 2023 prospect, has reclassified to the 2022 class and will join the Flames this summer.