A big-time basketball player with pro potential has signed a national letter of intent to play hoops in the Beehive State beginning next fall.
As a bonus, he's bringing his 6-foot-11 buddy along with him, too.
BYU, Utah, Utah State and the state's other four-year programs will have to watch them from the stands, though.
D.J. Wright, a Rivals.com three-star and Top 150 player in 2007, has agreed to take his highly rated game to Salt Lake Community College. Making the Bruins' coaches all the more giddy, they also landed the former Louisiana State signee's prep school teammate, Mike Luby.
They both faxed their letters to the SLCC coaches from Toronto, where they live, after spending last weekend in Salt Lake City on a recruiting trip.
SLCC coaches don't guarantee starting spots or playing time, but both players figure to play large roles for the college as it tries to return to the national junior college basketball tournament after taking second this past season.
"We're pretty excited about it," said SLCC assistant coach Russell Beck, who leads the program's recruiting efforts. "They have a good chance to play a lot of minutes for us. It excites kids that they'll be able to come in and compete for championships."
SLCC believes playing for more titles both at the Scenic West and NJCAA levels should be more of a likelihood with these two Canadian standouts.
Especially Wright, who Beck says is "probably one of the biggest, high-profile recruits in the state of Utah at any level." The small forward averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds his senior year at the Toronto Academy Preparatory School and was ranked 148th overall by Rivals.com among 2007 college prospects. ESPN.com ranked him No. 40 among small forwards.
Wright, who signed with LSU out of prep school, brings a wide range of offensive skills to SLCC. Beck says the Sault St. Marie (Ont.) talent shoots like Glen Rice and can handle the ball and score like Carmello Anthony. The 6-foot-7, 235-pounder has long range, playmaking abilities and back-to-the-basket moves.
After being released from his LSU commitment, Wright then signed with former Utah assistant Kerry Rupp at Louisiana Tech but couldn't stay because he didn't qualify academically. Rupp, who's friends with SLCC coach Norm Parrish and Beck, then sent him the Bruins' direction.
"It's kind of a big deal for us to land a kid like that," Beck said. "He'll have a legit chance to play for money."Luby, a 255-pound center, was also a nice grab for the Bruins. The former Farleigh Dickinson University commit transferred to Chipola (Fla.) College last year, and then decided to follow his friend to SLCC. Beck said Luby "needs a little more polish," but since he is muscular, very active on the boards, a defensive presence and a "solid' Division I prospect, the Bruins will gladly help him shine up his game.
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