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July 22, 2014

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high school recruiting:

Injured Las Vegas High standout Smith picks Arizona basketball

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas basketball players, from left, Devon Colley, Ray Smith and Patrick Savoy Jr. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.

Ray Smith, Las Vegas

Las Vegas' Ray Smith introduces himself.

Ray Smith likely will miss his senior season in the winter with the Las Vegas High Wildcats basketball team after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Thursday during a camp in Chicago.

But the 6-foot-8 small forward, who is rated as a five-star recruiting prospect and one of the nation’s unquestioned top-25 recruits for the class of 2015, isn’t done playing for the Wildcats.

He verbally committed to the University of Arizona Wildcats today, picking the Pac-12 Conference school over offers from the likes of Louisville, Connecticut, UCLA, Georgetown and others.

“My HS has a saying once a wildcat always a wildcat. I guess it’s true. I committed to UofA,” he posted on Twitter.

Smith averaged 25 points and six rebounds per game last season for Las Vegas, leading them to the Sunrise Regional championship game.

The recovering time for ACL injuries is at least six months depending on the severity and rehabilitation timeline. While Smith's return is questionable for his final high school season, where he was expected to team with 2015 prospects Pat Savoy Jr. and Devon Colley to have Las Vegas in contention for a state title, he'll be back at full strength in time for college. And, of course, his recruiting interest clearly didn't stop because of the setback.

Smith's commitment is nonbinding. National signing day, when Smith's can sign a national letter of intent, is in early November.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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