Local high school standouts decide to stick in Houston
The idea of reviving the tradition and aura of UH’s Phi Slama Jamma glory days was enough to lure two of the top recruits in the nation to commit to the Cougars for the fall of 2012.
As first reported by the Houston Chronicle, Hightower guard/forward Danuel House and HCYA forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles announced their intentions to play for the Cougars together at an RCS Sports event, “Rucker on Wood,” at Fallbrook Church.
According to House and Knowles’ Texas Pro AAU coach Marland Lowe, the allure of starting a new tradition in their home city won them over.
“Tradition and history,” Lowe said. “Coach Dickey committed to the city of Houston and to keep the top guys in the city, and that goes from President Khator to Mack Rhoades.
“The coaching staff is putting in the time and effort to keep the top guys here and asking them take a leap of faith because when they won back in the day, they had Houston guys before they got away from that.”
Both House and Knowles are ranked in the ESPNU Top 100, the fourth such players that Dickey and his staff have recruited.
Joseph Young ranked as the No. 98 prospect in the class of 2010 and Taeshawn Thomas ranked as the 92nd best prospect in the class of 2011.
House is a 6’6, 185-pound forward with a penchant for getting to the rim. He is ranked by ESPNU as the 15th-best player in the nation.
Hightower coach Vincent Norman raved about House’s all-around game and his character as a teammate.
“He’s a great kid,” Norman said. “He shows great leadership, great physical ability. He’s talented. He’s quick, can shoot the ball, jump, handle.
“He’s always energetic. He’s always one of the first to lead drills at practice and he’s a great teammate. He picks up morale.”
Because of his size and quickness, House also has the ability to defend multiple positions and Lowe thinks he has a very high ceiling as a player.
“He developed late,” Lowe said. “His best years are ahead of him. He’s special. He’s tough. He has an old school game.”
Knowles is homeschooled and plays for Homeschool Christian Youth Association. ESPNU ranked him No. 56 in the nation and the 15th-best power forward.
The 6’9 forward weighs in at a lean 190 pounds, but has 3-point range on his jumper and exceptional ball handling ability for his size.
“He just needs to add strength, and he will get that once he’s on campus,” Lowe said.
“He’s going to be an inside-outside player. He can pass really well too.”
Lowe said that he anticipates that this is just the beginning for UH to return to its winning ways of the early ’80s.
“I think they’ll bring it back to the level where the city expects it to be,” Lowe said. “I think they’ll continue to bring in high level players and recruits that want to be a part of it and are proud to represent their city and their state.”