football

Big center picks Big Ten

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A number of high-level prospects are spending the weekend at the University of Iowa for the school's basketball and Beas Hamga will return home as the newest Hawkeye.
The 7-foot center from Conerstone Christian School in San Antonio, Texas verbally committed to Steve Alford and his staff while on campus on Saturday afternoon.
"He really likes coach (Craig) Neal and coach Alford and felt really comfortable with them both," Hamga's gaurdian Mark Adams said. "They feel like he can come in and play right away. I think that was a huge factor. The fact that they aren't looking for another five man in the class before him and after him means a lot, too."
So does Neal and Alford's time spent in the NBA, Adams said.
"Both of those guys played in the NBA and coach Neal was in the league for eight years. They'll be able to help him get ready for the next step," Adams said.
Hamga is a physical specimen who continues to tap into his potential. He has made significant improvements since coming to the United States, particularly on the offensive. Defensively, Hamga is one of the better centers in the country and shines as a shot-blocker.
"He's much further advanced on defense, especially rebounding and blocking shots, than he is on offense," Adams said. "He's been working on that and getting better. I think he'll only get better once he gets here playing with Dariese (Gary) and Tyler Smith, if he is still here when Baes gets here."
Hamga is the second player to commit to Iowa in the class of 2008, joining guard and Iowa native Matt Gatens. He is an AAU teammate with 2007 Iowa pledge Dariese Gary on Indiana Elite.
The class of 2008 prospect was holding offers from Indiana, Texas, UNLV, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Syracuse and Georgetown.
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