Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | 2 a.m.
As a scorer, few players in the area can heat up in an instant quite like Arbor View guard Donavan Yap. And over the past few months, his recruitment has gotten just as hot, just as quickly.
The 6-foot-4 ballhandler entered the spring with just one college scholarship offer, but thanks to some strong play on the grassroots circuit he has since added nine more, including one from UNLV.
The Rebels have been aggressive in their pursuit of Yap, and the Class of 2020 prospect took an official visit to the campus on June 26.
Yap said UNLV holds a lot of appeal for him.
“[UNLV is] a good program,” Yap said. “I really feel like they’re going to make some noise next year. They have a very good coaching staff and their play style is nice. I feel like we have a good connection. I think they’ll do a good job next year and the next couple of years.”
As for his visit, Yap said he enjoyed pulling back the curtain on the life of a college athlete, and he especially got a kick out of his UNLV apparel.
“It was good,” he said. “I liked spending time with the players, the coaches, throwing on the gear, seeing the facilities, seeing how college players live.”
Yap is currently rated as a 3-star recruit by 247Sports, and his composite ranking has him at No. 313 in his class. As a junior at Arbor View last season, he averaged 15.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. He shot 42.6 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from 3-point range.
His length at point guard makes Yap an intriguing backcourt prospect.
“There’s a couple people that said I remind them of Ja Morant,” he said. “I like playing where I can facilitate for my team and create opportunities for them to score. And then whenever coach calls a play for me, I’m able to score it whenever we need a bucket.”
The previous coaching staff was cool on Yap, but head coach T.J. Otzelberger and assistant DeMarlo Slocum have been persistent in trying to sway the young distributor.
“The last staff were kind of recruiting me, but I don’t feel like they were recruiting me hard,” Yap said. “But as soon as coach T.J. and coach Slocum and the new coaching staff came, that’s when I got the offer right away. They were really looking forward to building a relationship with me, my mom, my dad, my family, trying to get me on a visit. It definitely picked up after they took over at UNLV.”
Since UNLV offered him in April, Yap has also received offers from Fresno State, UNR, Colorado State and Grand Canyon. He said he has also received interest from Texas Tech, Villanova and Washington State.
Though the offers continue to roll in, Yap expressed little interest in drawing out his recruiting process much longer. He said he plans to make a decision after the next recruiting live period, which ends on July 28, and hinted that there is already a front-runner for his commitment.
“At the end of the day I don’t like chasing fame and gathering up all the offers,” he said. “You can only go to one. I’ve been looking into it. There’s a school I’m looking at right now that I like the fit, I like the program.”
Could UNLV be in the lead? Yap is high on the hometown connection.
“It definitely means a lot. It’s my hometown, I’ve stayed in Vegas my whole life, born and raised. It really means a lot for me to have an opportunity to play at the next level here in my hometown and put on for my city.”