Louisville basketball target profile: 2026 F Tyran Stokes

Tyran Stokes of Prolific Prep reacts after the GEICO High School Nationals quarterfinal game against IMG Academy at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on Thursday. IMG won on a last second shot.Img Wins097
Tyran Stokes of Prolific Prep reacts after the GEICO High School Nationals quarterfinal game against IMG Academy at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on Thursday. IMG won on a last second shot.Img Wins097 /

Tyran Stokes is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, but has moved around a few times since the age of nine. When he was nine, he moved to San Diego, California, followed closely behind by a move to Georgia. He spent one year in Georgia before returning back to California. Last season, he was a freshman at Prolific Prep Academy, the same school that boasted new Louisville transfer Tre White and former Louisville player Kamari Lands.

Tyran Stokes is 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds. He’s heading into his sophomore season in high school, and Division I programs all over the country are recruiting this kid. So far, he holds offers from Alabama, Texas A&M, Arizona State, and Louisville, among others. He will be an incredible talent for any collegiate program.

According to Cardinal Authority, most of his family is still in Louisville, which could also help in Kenny Payne’s continued recruitment of the highly talented Stokes.

"“I was born in Louisville and all my family is still there,” Stokes told Cardinal Authority last weekend. “I lived there until I was nine and then I moved to San Diego.“Then I went to Georgia for a year, about 20 minutes from Atlanta, and now I am back in California in the Bay Area. But I was born in Louisville. I have a few family members in Ohio and a couple of places, but most of my family is still in Louisville.”"

With the recent buzz around the University of Louisville basketball program and the recruiting class that Kenny Payne has secured, No. 5 overall according to 247Sports, it doesn’t seem as farfetched as it would have a year ago that Louisville has a solid chance to land him.

Bringing in a class of Trentyn Flowers, Dennis Evans, Ty-Laur Johnson, Curtis Williams, and Kaleb Glenn out of high school instills an immense amount of hope for the future of this program. Not to mention, Kenny Payne has still been heavily recruiting 2024 five-star forward Karter Knox.

Karter Knox is a clear priority for Kenny Payne. light. Also

There is a city-sized breath of fresh air surrounding the basketball program for the first time in nearly a decade. The historic powerhouse that Louisville was built into dissipated through the myriad of scandals over the years. Starting with Rick Pitino and ending with Chris Mack and Dino Gaudio.

Now, all of that is in the past. Most of the players from those teams are gone and now Kenny Payne is establishing a new culture. One that is hard-working and requires high character. Tyran Stokes would be the perfect target in the Class of 2026 for those reasons and also the fact that he would be geographically close to his family again.

His high school coach at Prolific Prep, Ryan Bernardi, said: “He is a superstar in the making.” And according to On3, they do not give star rankings to players until before their sophomore season. But, they have given the early lead to Tyran Stokes or AJ Dybantsa.

"“The presumed top of the class goes to Tyran Stokes or AJ Dybantsa. Stokes is a 6-foot-7 forward from Louisville, Kentucky, by way of Prolific Prep (CA). Dybantsa is a 6-foot-9 forward from Brockton, Massachusetts, and attends St. Sebastian’s (MA). Both players have been playing 17u on Nike’s EYBL Circuit and are more than holding their own. It will be interesting to see what the pair looks like playing with people their own age.”"

The beginning of his sophomore year is coming up this fall and by the sounds of it, he will be a five-star player. He would become a Louisville icon if he came back to his hometown and played for the University of Louisville. And according to 247Sports’ Dushawn London, it doesn’t seem like that is an outlandish idea.

"“Stokes also stays in contact with Indiana and Louisville. Louisville Live is his one and only visit early on.“I’ve been to Louisville Live which was fun and they showed a lot of love out there,” he said. “The bar is high after that visit. For Louisville, I’m from there originally, I just want to see them win.”"

He visited Louisville Live last year and that interview was held in December 2022. So, he’s already been on campus, and as mentioned earlier in the article, he said that Kenny Payne offered him a scholarship over the phone. On top of all that, he stays in contact with Louisville, so it certainly seems like the Cardinals are in the running for his services.

Trentyn Flowers was one of the top prospects in the Class of 2024, but after he committed to Louisville, he announced he was re-classifying to the Class of 2023. So, Kenny Payne has landed one of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2023, is high on the radar of 2024 wing Karter Knox, and is building a strong relationship with 2026 forward Tyran Stokes.

Louisville basketball is most certainly heading in the right direction.