By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — Talented 2024 Arkansas target K. Annor Boateng is the latest in-state hooper to achieve 5-star prospect status as has elevated him to the No. 13 player in the nation.

Boateng (6-5 wing, Little Rock Central, Arkansas Hawks) moved up 41 spots in Rivals’ updated rankings that were released on Wednesday as he becomes the fifth 5-star in-state prospect in the last three classes, joining current Hog freshman guard Nick Smith, Jr. (2022), current Oregon big man Kel’el Ware (2022), current Hogs commit Layden Block (2023), and Overtime Elite guard Bryson Warren (2023).

“After his performances this spring and summer, it’s well-deserved,” said Boateng’s grassroots coach, Bill Ingram, who is the chairman of the Little Rock-based Arkansas Hawks that play on the Adidas 3SSB national circuit. “Actually, I personally thought he should have been ranked higher. I think he’s Top 10, but being a 5-star is being a 5-star, and there’s no replacement for that. I’m very proud of him, we’re proud of him as a Hawks organization.

“We feel like this is just the beginning for Annor.”

Boateng recently moved up 23 spots to national No. 12 in recruiting service‘s updated 2024 prospect rankings. He’s No. 44 in ESPN’s 2024 national Top 60.

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman and assistant coach Gus Argenal were on hand for Central’s practice on Wednesday, Sept. 14, to watch Boateng practice. Boateng took two unofficial visits to Arkansas in the span of five weeks in the summer.

Last weekend, Boateng took part in the invitation-only 2022 John Lucas Be Elite Camp and earned the No. 5 overall ranking in athleticism / agility measurables, and he ranked No. 1 in jump testing.

Next he’ll participate in the prestigious Coach Wootten’s Top 150 Camp on Oct. 1-2 in Mansfield, Texas. He’s was also invited back to Team USA junior national training camp (Oct. 7-10).

Arkansas coaches have been on hand in person to watch Boateng compete at various times over the past year, including in late July at the Adidas 3SS Open Championships in Seal Beach, Calif.

During that event, Boateng averaged 17.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals over six games. He averaged 25.0 points per outing — including a 32-point outing — during a 5-game run earlier in July at the Adidas 3SSB Summer Championships in Rock Hill, S.C.. He followed that up with a strong showing at Adidas 3SSB All American Camp.

Boateng finished among the Top 10 in scoring efficiency on the 16U Adidas 3SSB circuit. He also took part in Team USA’s U17 training camp in June.

Boateng is a physical specimen using an elite combination of athleticism, quickness, and speed to blast his way as a slasher and above-the-rim finisher, and he’s made significant strides as a ball-handler and shooter (both mid-range and out to the three-point line). He’s arguably the top on-ball defender in Arkansas.

In addition to Arkansas, Boateng holds offers from Auburn, Memphis, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State among others.

Linked are Boateng’s highlights from a Little Rock Central practice on Wednesday, Sept. 14, with Head Hog Eric Musselman and assistant coach Gus Argenal on hand watching, followed by Boateng highlights and an interview from three days earlier taken at a workout …