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Indiana basketball announces addition of transfer center Kel’el Ware



Oregon center Kel'el Ware dunks the ball as the Oregon Ducks host the No. 7 UCLA Bruins Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. (Syndication The Register Guard)

The Indiana basketball program has officially announced the addition of Oregon transfer center Kel’el Ware. The 7-foot Ware is a former five-star prospect who was rated as the No. 2 overall transfer in the 247Sports transfer rankings.

Ware averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in one season at Oregon.

He averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in a four-game stretch in the Phil Knight Invitational against Houston, UConn, Michigan State and Villanova.

He was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of the 2022 class. Coming into the 2022-23 season, Ware was a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. After an up-and-down freshman season, a new start at Indiana could be a perfect match.

Below is the full release from the Indiana basketball program.

IU men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that Kel’el Ware, a 7-0, 210 lb., center, will join the program as a transfer and have three seasons of eligibility.  He comes to IU from Oregon where he played 35 games and started four as a freshman for the Ducks.  He averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of action per game and led the team in blocked shots with 45.  His best game of the year was an 18-point, nine-board effort against eventual national champion, UConn.  He also had nine rebounds against Michigan State.

A native of North Little Rock, Arkansas, he led North Little Rock High School to back-to-back state championships and was the 2021 State Tournament MVP. He earned multiple All-State and All-Conference honors. As a senior, he averaged 21.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.7 blocks and as a junior, He averaged 16.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game for Coach Johnny Rice and the Charging Wildcats.  Finished hissophomore campaign averaging 12.7 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. to help NLR to a 23-5 mark that ended due to COVID.  He played AAU ball for All-Arkansas Red.

He was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American where he had eight points and a team-high 10 boards for the West.  He also was a Jordan Brand All-Star participant alongside Hoosiers Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau and played in the Iverson Classic.  For the Class of 2022, he was ranked sixth overall in the final 247Sports individual rankings, seventh by and eighth by He represented USA Basketball winning a gold medal at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Tijuana, Mexico.   He played for the 2022 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team that defeated the World Select Team 102-80 in the 23rd Nike Hoop Summit and came off the bench to score 11 points on four-of-five shooting from the field and also grabbed five rebounds.

He is the son of Tamika Spaight and Cedrick Spaight; has two brothers, Javarus Ware and Kashis Spaight, and two sisters, Dyamyn Ware and Jazzmyn Spaight.  He was born April 20, 2004.


“Kel’el is an extremely gifted player who will bring a lot to our program. He is a tremendous athlete whose skill level in all facets of the game will make us better. He’s a rim protector with great size and length, he runs the floor so well, he can shoot and he’s someone who competed and won at a high level in high school. We welcome he and his family to Bloomington and to Hoosier Nation .”

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.