Las Vegas Sun

June 18, 2024

Ex-Kentucky guard Jasper excited to play hoops at UNLV

Over eggs and bacon Sunday morning, Derrick Jasper gave UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger a verbal commitment.

Jasper, who played at Kentucky for two seasons before becoming disenchanted, will sit out the 2008-09 season and have two seasons of eligibility left.

He will be reunited with Rebels guard Tre’Von Willis, who played on the same summer traveling team as Jasper during their prep days and pressed Jasper to commit to UNLV during a weekend trip to Las Vegas.

Jasper told Kruger he'd become a Rebel in a restaurant inside the Green Valley Ranch Station Casino in Henderson.

“I really enjoyed the weekend and I love the city,” Jasper said Monday morning from his home in Paso Robles, Calif. “I got to hang out with the players. They seem like real great guys. I like how coach operated practice and motivates the players.

“It seems like a great fit for me.”

Kruger, who has one scholarship remaining for next season, cannot comment about a prospect until he receives a signed written commitment.

A 6-foot-6, 213-pound guard, Jasper averaged 4.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in 20 games for the Wildcats in 2007-08. He had intended to visit Arizona, but Willis convinced him that he had found a new home.

Jasper said Willis had “a lot” of influence.

“I really enjoy playing with him in our AAU days,” Jasper said. “He’s a great teammate. He competes really hard, and it will be nice to suit up with him again.”

Jasper has played the point his whole life.

“I think what I do best is get other players involved,” he said. “I’m a good team guy. I do whatever coach needs me to do. I want to be a leader on the team.”

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