The door is open for JT Tuimoloau to play basketball at Ohio State, but he has yet to join Chris Holtmann’s team.
Asked about the possibility of Tuimoloau playing basketball for the Buckeyes on Tuesday, Holtmann said the door was open for Tuimoloau to join the team but no final decision had been made on his intention.
“I think we are a long way from getting him on a pitch,” said Holtmann. “Ryan (Day) and I will be having conversations. It will ultimately depend, I’m sure, on what the young man and his family really want to do.
Holtmann said he and his team watched a movie of Tuimoloau playing basketball and were in awe. Tuimoloau had basketball offers from Washington and Oregon – two of the other finalists for the five-star soccer rookie – so he has the talent to legitimately play basketball at the Division I level.
“We saw it in the movies. We watched it a bit, ”said Holtmann. “I met him when he was here, we had breakfast. Beautiful child, beautiful family.
As the third overall prospect in the recruiting class of 2021, Tuimoloau’s future lies primarily in the football field, where he is expected to be a star for the Buckeyes and eventually play in the NFL. The Ohio State basketball team also doesn’t really need any additional players for the 2021-22 season, as the Buckeyes have 14 stock players.
More importantly, Holtmann doesn’t want basketball to interfere in any way with Tuimoloau’s footballing aspirations.
“I’m not going to stand in the way of a national championship or a first-round pick,” said Holtmann.