Men's Basketball Signs Three
Nov. 13, 2003
NEW YORK - Gonzaga University has signed three players to men's basketball letters-of-intent, head coach Mark Few announced Thursday.
Josh Heytvelt, a 6-10 forward from Clarkston, Wash., High; David Pendergraft, a 6-5 guard from Brewster, Wash., High, and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, a 6-1 combination guard from Montreal, Canada, signed to join the Bulldogs.
The signings were not unexpected, as all three had announced verbal commitments to attend Gonzaga. Pendergraft made his commitment prior to his sophomore season.
"These were our top recruits at those three positions, and it's a good day when you get your top recruits," Few said from New York where the Bulldogs are preparing to open the season against Saint Joseph's University on Friday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden. "We're getting ready to open our season in one of the most storied buildings in the country and we signed three quality players. It's been a good week so far."
Heytvelt is a two-time All-State 3A selection, averaging 20.1 ppg last season as a junior. Several scouting services have touted him as a Top 50 Recruit in his class and one of the top 10 recruits at his position. He was a member of the 2003 USA Festival West squad this past summer, teaming with Pendergraft to lead the West to the semifinals. He narrowed his choice to Gonzaga, the University of Kansas, the University of Arizona, the University of Oregon and the University of Florida.
Pendergraft averaged 24.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg last season as a junior in helping the Bears to a 28-0 record and the Washington State Class A title. He had five games in which he scored 30 or more points. As a sophomore, Brewster was 20-0 prior to Pendergraft suffering a broken hand that sidelined him for the season. Brewster still advanced to the state tournament where they went 2-2 to cap a 25-2 season. The Bears are 53-2 the past two seasons and are 48-0 when Pendergraft is in the lineup.
Altidor-Cespedes was rated as the third best two-guard at the ABCD Camp in 2003, a showcase camp in upstate New York, He was recruited by most of the Big East schools as well as Florida.
"Each of these players bring something to our program," Few said. "Heytvelt is very athletic, a great shot blocker, skilled with the ball and an excellent 3-point shooter. Pendergraft can score, rebound and has a winning attitude. Altidor-Cespedes is athletic and quick, can defend the ball full court and shoots the ball with great long range."
The Bulldogs open their season against Saint Joe's in the nightcap of Friday's action in a game to be televised on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. PST. The University of Pittsburgh faces the University of Alabama in Friday's opener. Thursday's doubleheader had the University of Memphis taking on Wake Forest University and Marquette University meeting St. John's University.
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