Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, April 19, 2014 | 5 p.m.
Durango High senior Darryl Gaynor Jr. played the waiting game in the college basketball recruiting process.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard had scholarship offers from Cal State Bakersfield, Northern Arizona and Florida A&M, but he decided to hold off on committing Wednesday during the start of the spring signing period. He knew a more attractive offer would eventually come.
Enter San Jose State.
After weeks of recruiting by the Mountain West school, San Jose State finally offered a scholarship late in the week. Today, Gaynor committed; Monday, he’ll sign a letter of intent.
“The thing I liked the most was the coaches. They were real honest in their assessment of me,” Gaynor said.
Gaynor was one of the top players in Southern Nevada last season, averaging 24.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game in leading Durango to the Sunset Regional semifinals.
After backcourt mate Paris Estrada went down with a season-ending injury in the first week of the season, Gaynor didn’t back down in leading his team. Estrada was a four-year starter at point guard and Gaynor’s teammate with the Las Vegas Prospects AAU team. The one-two punch was supposed to make Durango compete for the Sunset crown.
“We all (played) for Paris,” Gaynor said. “I had to take over and keep my teammates up and positive.”
It wasn’t the first time Gaynor successfully handled adversity. He played just a few weeks of the season last year at Palo Verde before leaving the team, which stalled the recruiting process.
“My recruiting was so high up. Having not played hurt,” he said. “It hurt me, but in the long run it helped me. I grew up as a leader.”
Gaynor will be the second player from Las Vegas in the San Jose State program, joining 2013 Bishop Gorman graduate Rashad Muhammad. Muhammad averaged 13 points per game last season in his freshman campaign.