Originally from the Ivory Coast, Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena have only been in the United States for a little over a year. The duo, however, are making a big impact at Birmingham (Ala.) Central Park High School.
Both 2011 prospects have had Alabama, Georgia (head coach), Ole Miss and UAB (head coach) watch them play this fall. Marquette and Virginia are also recruiting Kouassi and Morena after watching them play this summer.
Kouassi, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound center, is averaging 22 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for his undefeated team while Morena, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward, is averaging 18.5 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks per game.
Their guardian and coach Darien Knox of the Team Alabama travel team provides this breakdown on his players.
"Willy runs the floor like a deer," said Knox. "That is his strength. He is also a great shot blocker and rebounder. He's still developing as a low post scorer, but you can see it coming.
"Bernard can take people off the dribble and shoot the three. He can back his man down in the post if need be, and he is a strong ball handler and tenacious defender."
Being new to the States, Kouassi and Morena are quickly getting familiar with colleges by taking unofficial visits. They have already tripped to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and UAB. Future visits are planned for Penn State, Florida, LSU, Arkansas, Missouri and Tulsa.
"They are open to go anywhere," said Knox. "They'd love to play together, but that isn't necessary. They will make their own decisions."