Tafara Gapare reclassifies, commits to UMass men’s basketball

The New Zealand native is Frank Martin’s latest four-star recruit

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Sophie-Zoe Schreyer / Daily Collegian

By Pedro Gray Soares, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team added four-star forward Tafara Gapare to its first recruiting class under new head coach Frank Martin.

A Wellington, New Zealand native and formerly from class of 2023, Gapare announced his commitment to the Minutemen after de-committing from DePaul University and reclassifying to the class of 2022.

Already enrolled as a UMass student, the 6-foot-10, 205-pound power forward was considered a top-10 power forward in the nation and the top player in Connecticut in the 2023 class before reclassifying, according to 247Sports.

Gapare played high school basketball in the United States for less than a year at South Kent School in Connecticut, but had enough skill to attract attention from numerous Division-I programs.

“Recruiting high-level players to UMass is something that I’ve been excited about from the day I got hired,” Martin said in a press release. “Tafara adds that to the class that is already in place. He is a 6-foot-10, skilled forward that has a chance to be an unbelievable player both offensively and defensively. He has only been in the United States for six months so he is somewhat unknown, but UMass fans will know who he is as soon as he takes the court for us.”

“I chose UMass because during the recruitment process, coach Frank Martin built a relationship with me and my family and it felt genuine, real and not forced,” Gapare told On3 Sports. “What he values as a person and coach matched the same type of energy I’ve been looking for as a person and player. I feel like I’ll be utilized the right way on the court and I’ll grow more off the court.”

His commitment comes a day after the Minutemen secured a commitment from Jayden Ndjigue in the 2023 class. Between the transfer portal and the high school recruiting class, the Minutemen basketball program is undergoing considerable change under Martin.

Pedro Gray Soares can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @P_GraySoares.