Working the gyms off the beaten path at this year's Kingwood Classic, Gonzaga spotted Mangisto Arop, a high major 2009 prospect from Sudan via Canada, and snagged him before his recruitment could ever really get started.
A 6-foot-5 shooting guard with a 7-foot wingspan, Arop attends St. Mary's High School in Hamilton, Ontario, and plays club ball for the National Elite Development Academy under Coach Greg Francis.
"Gonzaga had a chance to see him first, and Gonzaga was his number one school," said Francis. "We couldn't even get him to think about any other schools."
Prior to the Kingwood event, Arop had a monster showing at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game placing him second in both categories. He also shot over 50 percent from behind the arc during the tournament.
"Mangisto was definitely one of the top wings in the tournament," said Francis. "He can really shoot the ball and is as good a rebounder as you will find at his position. He does need to work on his ball handling and that will be a focus during his final year with us. Defensively, he is strong and is a great on the ball defender."
Arop is not the only Sudanese prospect headed to Spokane, Wash. 6-foot-7 small forward Bol Kong is transferring to Gonzaga after playing one year at Douglas College in Vancouver, B.C.
Kong will have to sit out next season, but he is expected to make a major impact on the Gonzaga program. He is an above average athlete with a high skill level and impressive basketball IQ.