Leon Rice - Nov. 11
A pair of versatile, productive guards signed with the Boise State men’s basketball team Wednesday in La Porte (Texas) High’s Alex Hobbs and Longmont (Colo.) High’s Justinian Jessup.
“It’s a great day for Bronco basketball ... they’re going to both develop here and become outstanding players,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
ALEX HOBBS, 6-4, 180 (La Porte, Texas)
Hobbs had more than a dozen Division I offers, including Baylor, Oklahoma, San Diego State and Texas A&M. He averaged 27 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a junior.
“He is an elite scorer,” Rice said in a statement. “Alex has good size, a great feel for the game and can score in a variety of ways. We will graduate some great offensive weapons this year and he will help us fill that void. He’s also a tremendous kid that we are so excited to coach.”
When he committed in September, he said Boise and Boise State presented “the accumulation of what I wanted.”
Rice: “I think we’ve got a hidden gem in Alex. ... there were a lot of really, really good options he had. He just felt like this was a really great fit for him. We lose some key parts from this year’s team, and now we’ve got a kid that can maybe step in right away as a freshman.”
La Porte coach Barry Gibson: “He’s special. Words like ‘special’ and ‘gifted’ are generally overused, but you’ll know right when you meet Alex. Boise is going to love him. He’s a tremendous talent and is a really good person. His teammates love him and he’s one of the most driven players I’ve ever been around. He loves the grind and the process of getting better.”
JUSTINIAN JESSUP, 6-5, 185 (Longmont, Colo.)
Last season’s Colorado 4A Player of the Year, averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game as the Trojans made the state championship game. He had offers from Northern Iowa and Davidson, among others.
“Justinian is a versatile guard who can play all over the floor,” Rice said. “Passing, scoring, shooting; he can do it all at a high level and it allows him to play multiple positions. That flexibility is going to be a great fit with the way we play.”
Jessup shot 42 percent from 3-point range last season, and Jessup lived in Boise for two years growing up.
Rice: “There’s a couple things I love about Justinian. No. 1 is how competitive he is, he’s a winner. ... he’s probably going to win the state championship this year and he’s just such a versatile guard, he can do so many things in our system.”
Colorado Titans (AAU) coach Rick Jimenez: “He doesn’t show any emotion but just has this killer instinct about him,” Jimenez said. “When we play against the big-city teams who have deals with shoe companies, that’s when Justinian is at his best. He knows he’s going to the next level and he still comes in the gym and works harder than anybody else. He’s always asking himself ‘what’s my next challenge?’”