Syracuse Basketball: Commit Donnie Freeman joins 4-stars, 5-stars at IMG

Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star commit Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C., isn’t the only highly rated prospect who recently decided to transfer to the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Freeman, a 6-foot-9 power forward who verbally committed to the Orange in May, said on social media in recent days that he would move from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., to IMG, which suits up in the 10-member National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”) and participated in this past spring’s GEICO Nationals.

Per Jordan Divens, the national basketball editor of MaxPreps, IMG went 18-8 overall in the 2022-23 campaign, finishing in a tie for third place within the NIBC. The Ascenders also reached the semifinals of the eight-team 2023 GEICO Nationals.

Looking ahead to 2023-24, when Freeman will be a senior at IMG, Divens has the Ascenders at No. 4 in his preseason NIBC power rankings. And besides Donnie Freeman, IMG has landed a few other top-flight players of late.

Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star commit Donnie Freeman joins a stacked IMG roster.

Earlier this month, 2025 five-star point guard Darius Acuff Jr. said on social media that he was transferring to IMG from Cass Technical High School in Detroit. When I wrote this article, the 6-foot-2 Acuff was rated No. 10 overall, No. 2 at point guard and No. 1 in Florida within his class, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

But there’s more. In early July, 2024 four-star small forward Chase McCarty announced on Twitter that he was transferring to IMG from the Westminster Christian Academy in Huntsville, Ala. Multiple recruiting services currently rank the 6-foot-5 McCarty as a top-75 overall player in the rising-senior cycle.

Other talented prospects expected to be on the IMG 2023-24 roster include 2024 four-star small forward Amier Ali, 2025 four-star small forward Amari Allen, 2024 four-star shooting guard Cole Certa and 2024 four-star power forward Khani Rooths, among others.

The 6-foot-4 Certa, by the way, is verbally committed to Notre Dame. He said in early June that he would transfer to IMG from Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Ill.

Like other top-level programs, IMG has some new players on board for its upcoming season, including Donnie Freeman. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Ascenders finish in the top four of the NIBC regular-season standings and earn yet another berth in the next GEICO Nationals.

It should prove exciting to watch Freeman and his new teammates compete for IMG. The NIBC has some of his games broadcast on television, so I’ll certainly be checking out as many IMG contests as I can.

To make things even more fun, Donnie Freeman and IMG are likely to go up against other prospects who hold Syracuse basketball scholarship offers and compete for fellow NIBC members.

Those Orange targets include 2025 four-star shooting guard Kiyan Anthony of Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y., as well as two ‘Cuse recruits who transferred this off-season to the La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind. They are 2025 five-star point guard Jerry Easter II and 2025 four-star combo guard Darius Adams.

Syracuse Basketball: If 5-star commits, 2024 class may be No. 1 nationally. dark. Next