UK, New Mexico St, UNLV, Others Offer Guard

Reporter Brian Towey has recruiting story on talented shooting guard ...

There is something to be said for IS8 League debuts. Because whether it's the hype or the CYO-style court dimensions or the unmercifully physical play, guys don't always show so well their first time out.

LaVanne Pennington, not so much.

A 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior shooting guard from Genesis One Christian School in Mendenhall, Miss., Pennington busted out for 44 points for the D-I Stars on Saturday in a 77-72 overtime loss to the New York Panthers.

The smooth off-guard smoked 3's (six of them), sunk shots on the move, and showed a quick. fluid release (and deep range) on his jumper in his IS8 League debut. He was a hard man to keep out of the lane, sweeping past defenders and finding his mates. He played with energy, showed some creativity with the ball, and a strong feel for the game.

In a game featuring a couple of high-major ringers for the Panthers (Terrence Jennings, DeQuan Jones, Melquan Bolding), the unheralded kid from San Bernardino, Calif., stole the buzz.

Who is this guy? Well, a couple of high-level programs have him on their radar.

"I'm being recruited by Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee, New Mexico State, UNLV, Fresno State, and Colorado State," said Pennington. "Texas A&M, Kentucky, New Mexico State, and UNLV have offered."

One program is in very good shape with Pennington.

"I may end up at New Mexico State," said Pennington. "The coaches, I think that they could handle me; I've grown real close with the coaches."

Pennington has not taken any visits, and needs to take the A.C.T. before he can do so. He will take the October test. He is looking toward a spring decision.

Pennington attended John W. North High School in Riverside, Calif., before spending the last school year at Genesis. He plays in Elvert "Kool-Aid" Perry's Inland Empire Basketball Program (IEBP) on the AAU circuit.

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