Sage Tolentino is leaving home and going halfway around the world to play college basketball.
The Honolulu, Hawaii native originally committed to head coach Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers in October 2020, but went back and flipped to the Cincinnati Bearcats this summer.
The Hawaiian hoops star is poised to own the paint in the American Athletic Conference.
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 Decommits From Auburn, Flips to Cincinnati
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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 last year, 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. ESPN doesn't rank him in the top 100.
Although he originally committed to play for the Auburn basketball team, Tolentino rescinded his pledge in June 2021. He explored other offers from Cincinnati, Kansas, and Tennessee State and growing interest from the Kentucky Wildcats before committing to the University of Cincinnati.
The 7-footer is the first 2022 commit of new Bearcats head coach Wes Miller. Tolentino's commitment was a huge get as Cincy looks to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. Moving to Ohio had to play a part in wooing the big man.
Tolentino is training on a consistent basis. He trained with Kai Sotto -- who was supposed to play in the NBA G-League last year and plays professionally in Australia -- 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 one more year of high school basketball until he suits up for the Bearcats, but his dedication to the game is evident.
MORE: Emoni Bates, Nation's No. 1 Recruit, Backs Away From Commitment
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