Ray Gicaoletti became Utah's head coach on March 31.
April 28, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY - Luke Nevill, a 7-0, 240-pound center from Perth, Australia, has signed a national letter of intent with the Utah men's basketball program. The announcement came today from head coach Ray Giacoletti.
Nevill has been living in Marietta, Ga., this year as an exchange student. While playing for Kell High School, Nevill averaged 17.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocked shots and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 70 percent from floor and 68 percent at the free throw line.
Nevill earned honorable mention all-state and second team all-region honors. He was named to the Atlanta Tip-off Club's team of the month in January. Nevill was also selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game, but elected not to play in order to maintain his high school athletic eligibility. Nevill has also competed on Kell's track and field team, specializing in the discus and the 400 meters.
"We're very excited to have Luke become a part of our Utah basketball family," said Giacoletti. "Luke has only played organized basketball for four years and is somebody with great potential. For someone of his size, he has great feet and great hands. Since he also competes in track and field, you can see his versatility."
As a first year high school, Kell was not eligible to compete in the state tournament. The team went 14-11 in one of the toughest regions in class 5A (highest classification) in Georgia.
"Luke's a great kid who is very hard-working," said Kell High School head coach Mike Baumgarten. "He comes from a different background in Australia where academics and athletics aren't tied together, and he's adjusted very well. He's a very good student. He was second on our team in assists and a very accurate shooter. Although he didn't attempt any three-pointers for us, he has shown three-point range. It's been fun to watch him grow this year and I think his best basketball years are ahead of him."
Nevill becomes the second Australian in as many years to join the Utah men's basketball program. He follows Andrew Bogut, who is from Melbourne and joined the Utes from the Australian Institute of Sport. Nevill attended two junior basketball camps at AIS, but had not met Bogut before his recruiting visit to the University of Utah campus.
"I'm very excited to be joining the team at Utah," said Nevill. "I enjoyed my visit there, and really liked the coaching staff and the players. I think they are very good coaches. I have found that America is very similar to Australia. I have really enjoyed my stay here and I'm looking forward to going to Utah."