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Auburn’s Next 7-Foot Center Could Be a Problem in the SEC
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Sage Tolentino is leaving home and going halfway around the world to play college basketball in Alabama.

The Honolulu, Hawaii native committed to head coach Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers in October 2020.

The Hawaiian hoops star is poised to own the paint.

Sage Tolentino Highlights

7-foot center Sage Tolentino positions himself well. He loves the dunker’s spot, where his length creates easy buckets. Around the rim, Talentino is crafty. He puts English on the ball and likes to use the rim to ward off defenders. He can finish with either hand.

The center has a good looking jump shot. With a high-release point and good arc, it’s essentially unblockable. He’s capable of shooting from three and there are signs of improvement as a ball-handler in the open court as well.

Unsurprisingly, Tolentino is largely impactful on the defensive end. He’s a defiant shot blocker, and his mere presence is enough to make offensive players think twice. He doesn’t swat at the ball, he stays straight up.

In Hawaii, Tolentino played against smaller competition. It’ll be interesting to see how his defensive chops develop at the next level.

Sage Tolentino Basketball Recruiting

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Tolentino played his freshman and sophomore seasons of high school basketball at Maryknoll High School in Honolulu. He led the team to back-to-back state championships. Last season, he recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game en route to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selection.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak, Tolentino transferred to Hamilton High School in Ohio for his junior season.

The big man is a three-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, according to 247Sports, and a four-star according to Rivals. ESPN doesn’t rank him in the Top 60.

Prior to committing to Auburn, he had offers from Cincinnati, Kansas, and Tennessee State with growing interest from the Kentucky Wildcats. He announced his decision on social media.

Tolentino is the latest recruit for the Tigers men’s basketball team after 2021 five-star power forward Jabari Smith committed in early October 2020. The Auburn basketball team is trending in the right direction. Bruce Pearl’s squad is bound to be a staple in upcoming NCAA Tournaments and continue to produce NBA players.

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With Isaac Okoro being selected in the 2020 NBA Draft, it is first time in program history that Auburn players have been selected in the first round in consecutive years.

Tolentino is training on a consistent basis. He trained with Kai Sotto — who will play in the NBA G-League this year — in Atlanta, Georgia at East West Private (Sotto is looking be the first player born in Philippines to be selected in the NBA Draft). In Ohio, he’s been working out with Griffin Elite, a basketball training program.

Tolentino has a few more years until he suits up for the Tigers, but his dedication to the game is evident.

MORE: 5-Star Shooting Guard Commits to Play With His Older Brother

Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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