Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari has scored another commitment from a top-rated point guard prospect.
The five-star native of Simi Valley, California, joins North Laurel's Reed Sheppard as the second rising senior in the Class of 2023 to pledge to UK.
"If you put in the work at Kentucky and Coach Cal thinks you are good enough to make it, then it will happen for you," Dillingham told ESPN. "When I visited Kentucky, it was incredible. They explained everything. The basketball, academics, strength and conditioning, NIL."
Louisville, Auburn and the University of Southern California were also in the running for Dillingham, a 6-foot-2, 165-pound product of Kanye West's Donda Academy.
Calipari's quest to land Dillingham hasn't been easy. The point guard originally committed to NC State in December over Kentucky, Kansas, LSU and Memphis but reopened his recruitment just days after Louisville announced Kenny Payne would take over as its next men's basketball coach in March.
The Wildcats separated themselves from their competition in pursuit of Dillingham over the past three months in the eyes of national recruiting pundits.
Of Dillingham's final four schools, recruiting databases show he only visited Kentucky. In fact, 247Sports, On3 and Rivals do not list Louisville or USC among the myriad of Power 5 programs that extended the point guard a scholarship offer.
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What Robert Dillingham can add to Kentucky in 2023
Dillingham can offer Kentucky several crucial skills when he takes the court.
What stands out the most on film are a fearless and creative approach to driving at the basket — a trait shared by many of UK's most successful guards under Calipari — and a 3-point shot that should only improve with more reps. He's also a solid facilitator who should pair nicely with Sheppard and the rest of Kentucky's 2023 class.
"I have known him since we were younger," Dillingham told ESPN. "He's got sneaky bounce and is a knock down shooter."
Dillingham has done plenty to bolster his national rankings heading into his final year at the high school level. In 2021, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the FIBA U16 Americas tournament in Xalapa, Mexico, after scoring 31 points in the championship game against Argentina.
Dillingham has also shined against some of the country's top 2023 prospects while playing for Chris Paul's Team CP3 in Nike-sponsored EYBL sessions. Through three sessions in 2022, the point guard ranks fourth in scoring with an average of 19.9 points per game.
Dillingham helped his cause on the EYBL leaderboard with a strong showing at a session held over Memorial Day weekend in Louisville. Across five games, he averaged 22.4 points per contest, including a 28-point performance, shot 56% from the field and made 44% of his 3-pointers. He also dished out 13 assists, came up with five steals and turned the ball over eight times while averaging 26.2 minutes per game.
Dillingham is at least the 11th true point guard prospect ranked among the top five of 247Sports' composite rankings to commit to UK since Calipari accepted the head coaching job in April 2009.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Robert Dillingham, top point guard, commits to Kentucky basketball