Dwayne Morgan had been to Las Vegas just once before verbally committing to UNLV last March. But he’s back in town this weekend taking part with 80 of the nation’s top prep players in the prestigious LeBron James Skills Academy.
The 6-foot-8 forward from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, who is rated the No. 12 overall prospect for the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com and garnered a top grade of five stars from Scout.com, said he already feels at home in the desert.
“I love it,” Morgan said following the first day of drills that featured an appearance from King James himself. “I’ve only been here two times and I love coming here. … I feel like I’m at home.”
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Morgan picked UNLV over local schools like Maryland and Georgetown and also had offers from other big-time programs like Indiana. His commitment to the Runnin’ Rebels received a predicable backlash from east coast basketball fans but the explosive, long-armed (7-foot wingspan) wing forward isn’t looking back.
“That’s a given,” Morgan said. “I’m from Maryland, I’m from Baltimore. They expected me (to stay). But I feel comfortable here. I feel it was the best (choice) that I could make.”
Morgan got a little bit of vindication when UNLV’s Anthony Bennett went No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft last month ahead of more highly-touted lottery picks Otto Porter of Georgetown (No. 3, Wizards) and Alex Len of Maryland (No. 5, Suns).
“When I saw AB, Anthony Bennett, picked No. 1, my mother yelled (and) I yelled,” Morgan said.
Morgan, who has been plagued by a ligament injury to his right thumb this summer, is playing on a UConn team that also includes Findlay Prep bound guard Kelly Oubre and 6-10 Myles Turner of Trinity High in Euless, Tx., one of the top big men in the Class of 2014 who has UNLV on his very long list of schools. The coach of the team is Bishop Gorman’s Grant Rice, brother of UNLV head coach Dave Rice.
Games begin late Sunday afternoon and conclude Monday night. The event is closed to the public and per request of Nike officials the location is not being disclosed. Video of the games and workouts also is not permitted.
Check back to MyLVsports.com for further interviews and updates.