Gophers gain commitment from in-state point guard prospect Isaac Asuma

Three-star point guard from Iron, Minn., gave a verbal commitment to the Gophers

Cherry’s Isaac Asuma (3) drives on Nevis’ Joe Houchin (5)
Cherry’s Isaac Asuma (3) drives on Nevis’ Joe Houchin (5) in the second half of the Tigers 68-57 win in the quarterfinal game of the state tournament March 23, 2022 in Minneapolis.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram file photo

The Gophers men’s basketball program pulled off a daily double on Thursday.

After Minnesota pulled off a stunning comeback win over Rutgers, three-star point guard Isaac Asuma from Iron, Minnesota, and Cherry School gave a verbal commitment to Minnesota for the 2024 recruiting class. He made the announcement after his high school game.

Asuma’s pledge is good news less than a week after four-star center Dennis Evans III of Riverside, California, in the 2023 class received a release from his national letter of intent with the Gophers.

Asuma is the second-best recruit in the state of Minnesota in next year’s class behind Bloomington Jefferson guard Daniel Freitag, according to 247sports. Asuma is the first commit in Ben Johnson’s class for next season.

Cherry head coach Jordan Christianson said Asuma stands out for how he makes teammates better, his work ethic, unselfishness, leadership and charisma.


“He makes everyone around him better,” said Christianson, who is in his fourth year as head coach. “His teammates are going to love playing with him. He enables his teammates. He makes the right basketball decisions. When it’s go time, he will give you that extra mode when he needs it. And he’s always going to be working. He’s not one of those kids that’s going to plateau. He is going to be better by the month.”

Asuma led Cherry to its first Class A state tournament in 25 years. This year, Cherry is poised to make consecutive appearances and he is averaging 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals per game.

The 6-foot-3 prospect picked the Gophers over other scholarship offers from Iowa State, Nebraska, Iowa, Xavier and Butler.

Asuma visited the Gophers for the Illinois game at Williams Arena in mid-January and again for the Penn State game in mid-February.

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Christianson said Asuma’s relationship with coach Ben Johnson, Athletes’ Village and an opportunity to help the team early in his career each contributed to his decision.

“He really loves Ben and the whole staff in general,” Christianson said. “… Athletes Village really wowed him. I think when he thought about Minneapolis was how big it was, but once he got on campus, he realized where he will spend a lot of his time — Athletes Village and the Barn and his classes would be close by.”

Cherry School is kindergarten through 12th grade in a small rural town an hour northwest of Duluth. Asuma hasn’t acted like big man on campus, Christianson said.

“All the elementary kids adore him,” Christianson said. “He will stop and give them high-fives and take the time to get to know their names. It’s never about Isaac. He always wants to make sure it’s about the team or whoever he is talking about. That is a trait that I don’t see a whole lot in 16-year-old kids. Unselfishness and willing to learn something about someone else — no matter if they are a kindergartner or a 70-year-old fan in the community. He is really sincere.”



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