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UNLV gets commitment from Kentucky high school forward

Updated February 17, 2018 - 5:14 pm

UNLV’s basketball team got pounded 94-56 on Saturday at San Diego State, but the Rebels did pick up one key victory.

Joel Ntambwe, a 6-foot 8-inch forward from Aspire Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, committed to the Rebels. The senior chose UNLV over UCLA, Tennessee and Wichita State.

“I really built a strong relationship with head coach (Marvin) Menzies,” said Ntambwe, who is averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 rebounds. “That’s the thing that made me really want to go to that school.

“It wasn’t really a tough decision. On my visit, I felt really comfortable with the coaching staff.”

He is rated a three-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals.

“I told (Menzies) that I’m trying to (make) a big impact on the program next year because I’m trying to win games and hopefully make it to the (NCAA) Tournament,” Ntambwe said. “They’ve got great facilities that can make my game improve. They’ve got everything that every top program in the program has.”

The commitment puts UNLV one over the scholarship maximum for next season, but freshman forward Brandon McCoy could declare early for the NBA draft. There also could be other roster changes, though the amount of turnover after the season is expected to be less than most recent years.

More Rebels: Follow all of our UNLV coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJRebels on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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