October 26, 2012
Vernon pledges to the Pokes
Keonta Vernon celebrated his birthday by delivering a present to the Wyoming Cowboy basketball program - himself.
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward from Tulare (Calif.) announced his commitment to the Wyoming Cowboys during a birthday party at his home Wednesday night. Vernon said the party consisted of teammates, friends, and even players from rival schools.
"I chose the University of Wyoming," Vernon said. "It was an announcement for my birthday party. I wanted to have fun for my birthday and it was just so much more special by the fact I got to announce like this. Everyone was excited after the announcement."
Likely no one more excited than Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt. Vernon is the second known commitment to the Wyoming program in the recruiting class of 2013.
Last season Vernon helped his Tulare Union squad to the state title game and a 29-6 mark last season, thanks to averages of 19 points, 14.3 rebounds, 4.6 blocked shots and three assists per game.
As of Sept., Vernon's scholarship list included Northern Arizona, Wyoming, Cal-Poly, UC-Santa Clara, Drake, Seattle and Fresno State among others. Over the past two summers he helped lead his Double Pump AAU team to a 44-2 mark.
Vernon visited Laramie and Northern Arizona in early Sept. and liked what he saw in each. He said he enjoyed his trip to Laramie due to the warm welcome from what will be his future teammates. He said it didn't take long after his visit to make up his mind.
"I knew the Tuesday I got back from Wyoming (that it was the right choice)," Vernon said. "It wasn't an easy choice, but it was the right fit for me. It was a great feel once I really sat down and thought about everything.
"It felt like the place for me," he said.
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