Hilltoppers Land Filipino Prospect

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers might be fishing in unchartered waters with their latest commitment. Darrin Horn's team reached into the Philippines to grab a very promising international prospect.

After playing two seasons for Ateneo De Manila University in the Philippines, Japeth Aguilar felt it was time to take the next step and head to the United States to play college basketball.

On Thursday, Aguilar committed to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and he might be the first Filipino Division I basketball player.

Obviously, there's a measure of pride in the 6-foot-9 combo forward. "I think because no one has ever been here (from the Philippines)," Aguilar said, "I feel proud and happy to be here because some other athletes in the Philippines (are good) and I'm the one to represent the Philippines in another sport and not only boxing."

The 210 pounder was spotted by the Toppers during an evaluation camp in Illinois. Numerous programs moved on him and he visited Niagara, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and South Dakota State. Bradley wanted to get in the mix and so did Loyola.

"I think for me it was everything from the coaches to the players to the school and the facility," Aguilar said. "I liked everything about Western Kentucky."

In Bowling Green, Aguilar will get to use his perimeter package and considerable defensive talents. Over in the Philippines he's quite the commodity as a prospect. He'll sit out this season and have 2 years remaining to play in the Sun Belt.

The 19 year old could wind up being a major performer for Darrin Horn's team beginning in the fall of 2007.


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