Utah Utes, Utah State basketball: 3 Utah athletes sign with U., USU

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 9 2011 7:32 p.m. MST

Utah high school basketball seniors Marcel Davis, American Fork, Quincy Bair, American Fork, and Jordan Loveridge, West Jordan, sign to play college basketball in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.

Jeffery D. Allred, Deseret News

SANDY — It was a big occasion for three of Utah's top prep athletes with friends, family, coaches and media gathered at Iggy's Sports Grill for the letter of intent signing ceremony of West Jordan's Jordan Loveridge and American Fork's Quincy Bair and Marcel Davis.

Ever since each of the athletes can remember, each of them have dreamed of having the chance to play Division I basketball. With each of them signing and sending in their letters of intent Wednesday morning, they'll now have officially have that chance.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and it's a dream come true," said Quincy Bair, who with his high school teammate Marcel Davis, signed with Utah State. "I'm really excited to have this opportunity."

The opportunity to play with each other in college is just icing on the cake for the American Fork hoopsters. Since junior high, they've been playing on the same team while helping each other improve on their own games.

"We're like brothers," said the 6-foot-2 Davis. "We do everything together, so yeah, it's something we're both looking forward to continuing that at Utah State. It's something we couldn't be more excited about."

The two athletes have obviously been blessed with a lot of natural athletic talent, but it's their hard work and dedication to improving their games that has led to their success according to their high school head coach Doug Meacham.

"Whenever I'd get off work and go by the gym at around 5:30 p.m., they'd still be there, working on their games," he said. "So it's great to see kids who put in the time to get rewarded like this. The fun part about coaching is to see kids that put in the time, work hard on their games and then get rewarded. It's a great day."

Davis was offered by the Aggies after his sophomore year and committed almost immediately, despite the knowledge that he'd likely receive other offers. Bair, meanwhile, had to wait a bit longer for his Utah State offer, but committed right away.

There isn't just one reason why they decided to sign with Utah State, but those reasons all seem to start with coach Stew Morrill.

"Ninety percent of the players that play for him get degrees, and that is something that is really important to me," said Davis. "He's also a great coach who wins games. It's a winning program and a great program."

As for Loveridge, his recruitment wasn't as cut and dry as that of his AAU Pump-N-Run teammates. After receiving his initial offer from Weber State, he received offers from BYU, Colorado State, Colorado, San Diego and others.

The offer he ended up taking was from Utah, which was the school he inked with early on Wednesday morning.

"It feels great to have it done with," he said. "It's been fun looking at all the schools and having all those schools interested in me, but I'm thankful that it's done and that I've signed with Utah."

Like Bair and Davis, Loveridge's opportunity to play for a Division I program is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication. Every year, the 6-foot-7 forward would work on particular aspects of his game, making himself into a well-rounded player sought by many programs.

"He kind of reminds me of Karl Malone, in that every year you'd see Malone come back with the Jazz and you could see him improve a lot upon one aspect of his game and that is what I've seen with Jordan," said his high school coach Scott Briggs. "Ever since the ninth grade, when I started coaching him, he's improved significantly on something about his game every single year. He's been a complete pleasure for me to coach because of how he works and how dedicated he is to improve, and that's why I believe he'll continue to see success at Utah."

Loveridge has spent a lot of time playing with both Bair and Davis with all of them being part of the Pump-N-Run AUU team for several years. He's also become used to going against them as well when West Jordan goes up against American Fork. He relishes the opportunity to compete against them again at the next level while wishing both of them nothing but the best up in Logan.

"They're both great players, and I can't wait to go against them — it will be a great game," he said. "We haven't started talking trash or anything like that, but I'm sure it will come."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Alta baseball player picks UVU

SANDY — Alta baseball player Beau Kallas signed a letter of intent to play at Utah Valley University on Wednesday in a ceremony at Alta High School.

The senior infielder batted .364 in as a junior for the Hawks. MaxPreps lists him has the eighth best player in Utah.

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