MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang said he came to ‘elevate’ the program and he continued that process on Wednesday (Nov. 8) with the signing of consensus top-50 high school prospect David Castillo (Bartlesville, Okla./Sunrise Christian Academy [Kan.]) to a National Letter of Intent.
“We’re excited to welcome David and his family to K-State,” said Tang. “We signed a dude today. He’s a leader. He’s a winner. He has won two gold medals with USA Basketball, winning at the FIBA U16 Championships then again at the U17 World Cup. To show his leadership abilities, he got hurt and wasn’t able to play this past summer and the team didn’t even medal. So, the man is just a winner. He understands what it takes to win and lead.
“Before his injury, he was considered a top-20 player. So, he was a little out of sight and out of mind. But it didn’t change who he is as a player. We can’t thank the Castillo family enough for trusting us, for believing in us. It was a big win for the Wildcats.”
Castillo is rated among the top 50 players nationally by three of the four recruiting services, including No. 42 by Rivals, No. 45 by 247Sports and No. 50 by ESPN, while is among the top-10 point guards, including No. 7 by 247Sports, No. 8 by Rivals and No. 9 by On3.
A native of Bartlesville, Okla., Castillo played three years at Bartlesville High School before transferring to prep powerhouse Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., for his senior season in 2023-24. Playing for K-State alum Clent Stewart, he left Bartlesville as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,594 points, averaging 23.7 points per game in his 67-game career. He was twice named to the Tulsa World All-State Team and was a finalist for the World’s 2023 State Player of the Year.
In addition to his high school accolades, Castillo has led Team USA to a pair of gold medals, including the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup. He was also invited to the 2023 Team USA Junior National Team minicamp in April but could not play due to a foot injury.
Castillo played for Team Griffin in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), where he was mentored by Rod Thompson.
Castillo, whose parents migrated from Honduras to New York, was born in Houston. He has three siblings (Letricia, Antonio and Gloria). His older sister, Letricia, played basketball (2003-07) at the Air Force Academy, where she was a 3-time team captain and an honorable mention All-Mountain West selection in 2003-04.
Castillo received more than 20 high-major offers before picking the Wildcats.
The commitment of Castillo comes on the heels of Tang and his coaching staff signing a top-30 recruiting class in 2023, which includes current true freshmen Dai Dai Ames, R.J. Jones and Macaleab Rich. All 3 players were among the top 150 players as high school seniors in 2023.
David Castillo (6-1, 170, PG, Bartlesville, Okla./Sunrise Christian Academy [Kan.])
[Recruiting Ranking: #42 Rivals, #45 247Sports, #50 ESPN, #60 On3]
Castillo enters his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., as a 4-star and consensus top-50 prospect by three of the four major recruiting services. As a junior in 2022-23, he averaged 22.3 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Bartlesville en route to earning Tulsa World All-State honors as well as being a finalist for the World’s Player of the Year. He was also named to the Watch List for the USA Today HSSA Boys Basketball Player of the Year. In one game against Sapulpa, he scored 42 points to go with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
As a sophomore, Castillo averaged 24.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for Bartlesville in 2021-22 before earning First Team All-State and First Team All-Frontier Valley Conference honors. As a freshman, he averaged 23.7 points, which was the most by any Bartlesville player since 2005-06.
Castillo set the school record with 1,594 points in his 67-game career at Bartlesville, along with 378 rebounds, 248 assists and 79 steals.
Castillo has extensive experience playing internationally, winning gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup. He led the U16 National Team to a 6-0 record and gold at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Xalpala, Mexico. He finished with 14 points and 3 assists in the 90-75 win over Argentina in the gold medal game. He helped the Team USA to another perfect 7-0 record at the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup in Malaga, Spain, where he averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 assists. He scored 12 points against Lithuania in the semifinals as well as against host Spain in the gold medal game.
Castillo attended the 2023 USA Men’s Junior National Team minicamp but did not participate due to injury.
Head coach Jerome Tang
On the type of player David Castillo is…
“He’s fast. He’s got some pop to him, and he can score the ball. But he’s very unselfish. It doesn’t hurt him to give the ball up. And then he’s a communicator up and down the floor. Like he just connects people. And he’s very poised. And you need poise. It’s like rebounding. If you rebound in high school, you rebound in college, then you will rebound in the NBA. Poise translates as well. If you’re poised in high school, you’ll be poised in college and that deploys to the next level, and he’s got that.”
Signee David Castillo
On the decision to attend K-State…
“I stand before you with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility as I sign my National Letter of Intent to join the Kansas State family. This is a tremendous honor, not just for myself, but my family, to represent this prestigious university in the world of collegiate sports.
While I’m acutely aware of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that has brought me to this moment, I’m deeply thankful for the unwavering support from my family, coaches, teammates, mentors and most of all – God and the Holy Spirit – who have guided me through this journey. The trust that Kansas State has put in me is not taken lightly. I promise to give my absolute best on and off the court to contribute to the proud traditions of this institution and to make everyone associated with this institution proud.”
On Coach Tang…
“One, Coach Tang is a Godly man and me and my family trust God and believe in God. Coach Tang lets his guards play. I want to play. I want to compete. I want to go out there and have fun.”
Bartlesville Head Coach Clent Stewart
On Castillo signing with K-State…
“I wanted what was best for him and obviously we had some conversation about fit and what team fit his play style the best. But I’m a ‘Cat and I’m very happy he chose Kansas State, but I wouldn’t supported whatever his decision was.”
K-State will host Bellarmine (0-1) in the home opener on Friday (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m., CT. It will be the first of two games in a 3-day span for the Wildcats, which plays South Dakota State (1-0) on Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., CT. Tickets continue to go fast with six games already sold out for the 2023-24 season. November home games (minus Bellarmine) start at only $15, while the Bellarmine and Big 12 midweek games start at $30. Tickets can be purchased through the Athletics Ticket Office by calling toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), by logging in online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets, and in-person at the main southwest Bramlage Coliseum ticket office.
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