Demetris Morant was unable to crack Bishop Gorman High School’s starting five last season, but he never went unnoticed. Jumping over three people to win a dunk contest was one way the 6-foot-8-inch power forward was able to attract attention.
Morant, overshadowed by Gaels teammates Shabazz Muhammad, Rosco Allen and Ben Carter, was the first of the four to make the leap and orally commit to play basketball at UNLV.
“It’s a great fit for me,” Morant said Monday night. “I like the coaching staff, and their running style of play fits what I do. That’s my strength, that and my athleticism and my defense. I’m still working on my offensive game, as well.”
Morant, who moved from Tucson, Ariz., to Las Vegas before his junior year, said he chose the Rebels over San Diego State. He also was recruited by Arizona State, Memphis, Texas A&M and UNR.
“Demetris had a lot of offers. He had quite a few options,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “He’s a real quiet kid, but he’s starting to make some noise on the court. He’s going to show a lot of people what he can do this year.
“He plays a lot bigger than 6-8 because he has a long wingspan and he jumps out of the gym. He will have a leadership role and be one of our top players.”
Morant, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 150 senior in the nation, averaged about eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots while playing 15 minutes per game last season.
Morant is the Rebels’ third commitment for the class of 2012, joining guards Katin Reinhardt of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei High and Daquan Cook from St. Frances High in Baltimore.
UNLV has two more scholarships available for next year’s recruiting class, and Gorman seniors Allen and Carter remain in the picture.
Allen is making official visits to Stanford this week and UNLV on Sept. 7. He also is considering North Carolina. Carter is also being pursued by California, Oregon, New Mexico and San Diego State.