Utah State's newest basketball recruit comes with a 7-foot-1 frame, a lot of hype and — Aggie fans might be disappointed to hear — a criminal record.
Anthony DiLoreto, a big man from Hopkins High in Minnetonka, Minn., enrolled at USU recently and was on campus when classes began Monday morning for the fall semester.
He will be a true freshman and have four years of eligibility remaining.
"Anthony's situation is well-known," USU coach Stew Morrill, who declined to speak over the phone about DiLoreto, said in a press release. "He made a mistake. He is anxious to move forward in his life and prove himself on and off the court."
The lefty with a shot-blocking game was arrested in connection with a Wisconsin bank robbery a year ago in which he was the getaway driver for a 16-year-old friend. Two weeks ago, DiLoreto entered a plea of no contest to aiding and abetting robbery. He also was accused of stealing a tank of fuel from a gas station prior to the bank robbery.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 22 but will have his record cleared if he stays out of trouble for a year.
"Anthony had no prior history of negative actions," Morrill continued, "and he comes from a wonderful family that is very supportive. He deserves this opportunity and I am grateful to our administration for the trust they have in allowing us to recruit Anthony to Utah State."
Prior to being involved in the Wisconsin robbery, DiLoreto was a defensive star for one of Minnesota's top 5A teams and had accepted a scholarship to Cal Poly.
After spending the past year dealing with more lawyers than basketball coaches, DiLoreto's recruiting picked up again, and he was reportedly offered a spot on the St. Louis University team coached by Rick Majerus.
But former Utah State assistant coach James Ware, also a Hopkins High product and now an assistant coach at Santa Clara, helped connect DiLoreto with USU coach Stew Morrill, and after visiting campus last week, DiLoreto decided to join the Aggies.
"Anthony has the potential to become a dominant WAC big man," Morrill said. "He has wonderful skills to go along with his God-given size and also has excellent hands. With a solid work ethic and attitude he could join a long list of great Aggie big men by the end of his career."