Thursday, March 15, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.
One of the best high school basketball players to come out of northeast Las Vegas in years has verbally committed to play college basketball for one of that neighborhood’s all-time greats.
Desert Pines High junior point guard Julian Jacobs this week committed to the Utah basketball program, picking the Utes and assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum over offers from St. Mary’s and Santa Clara. Desert Pines coach Mike Uzan, who played at Eldorado High with Slocum in the 1990s, confirmed the commitment.
Jacobs plays during the spring and summer for the Las Vegas Prospects AAU team, the same organization Slocum coached before joining the college coaching ranks. Slocum was the Sunrise Division player of the year in 1996 at Eldorado.
"Utah was the first school to recruit me and they really stayed with it," Jacobs said. "I really like the coaching staff. I want to come someone where I am needed. And Utah is that place."
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Jacobs, who was part of the Sun’s Super Seven preseason team, averaged 12 points, six assists and five rebounds per game this winter in being an all-Sunrise Region selection.
“This is great for him,” said Uzan, a 1994 Eldorado graduate and the Sundevils’ former coach. “He worked hard for this. He definitely deserves it.”
Jacobs has emerged over the past year as one of the area’s top prospects for the class of 2013. He has tremendous ball-handling abilities, isn’t afraid to take the ball to the basket despite his lanky frame and is a true point guard in the sense he’d rather pass than score.
“He has a lot of upside and so much more he can get better at,” Uzan said. “He’s going to be a real good Pac-12 player, because there aren’t too many people with his size and ability. He’s still filling out and once he gets that jump shot popping a little better, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”