Div. 1 basketball recruit moves to Utah, will play for Lone Peak

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Christian Popoola Jr., a ninth grade prep star from Las Vegas, will be joining the Lone Peak High School basketball team this school year. (Photo courtesy Christian Popoola Sr.)

Christian Popoola Jr., a tenth grade prep star from Las Vegas, will be joining the Lone Peak High School basketball team this school year. (Photo courtesy Christian Popoola Sr.)

As if Lone Peak High School needed more help consistently beating down opponents on the hardwood, they just received a helping hand via Las Vegas.

Christian Popoola Jr., a top 50 high school basketball recruit for the class of 2017, recently moved to Utah and will tryout for the Lone Peak team this fall.

Popoola Jr., a 6-foot-4, 180-pound sophomore, is a powerful left-handed guard who already holds offers from UNLV, New Mexico and Princeton.

Popoola Jr., aka “Lil Pop” has been playing for one of the top basketball programs in the nation, Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. But Popoola will now play for the Lone Peak Knights starting fall 2014.

His dad, Christian Popoola Sr. — who played for the 1999, 2000 UNLV basketball teams, is involved in working with the top programs around the country as a basketball scout. He said this involvement gave him the chance to learn more about Lone Peak, and after learning about their basketball program, he was sold.

“I was a fan of the way they play,” he said. “I was already moving to Utah, I just needed him to play for a top program.”

Popoola Sr. said he was impressed largely by how Quincy Lewis coaches the Knights. And who can blame him? Coach Lewis has coached Lone Peak for 11 years and has a W-L record of 232–38. That’s a winning record of 86 percent. And over his 11 years of coaching the Knights, they’ve won the state championship seven times, including a national championship in 2013.

Over the past decade Lone Peak has consistently competed with the best teams in the nation.

Back to Popoola Jr.

Popoola Jr. was raised in Las Vegas. According to his recruiting profile on ESPN, he’s a master of breaking down defenders off the dribble and finishing at the rim. According to Max Preps, he’s the No. 31 recruit nationally for the class of 2017.

Popolla Jr. comes to Lone Peak from an elite Nevada high school team. The Bishop Gorman Gaels are regular contenders for the Nevada state championship and have won the Nevada title four times in the last ten years, most recently in 2012.

The decision to have Popoola Jr. play for Lone Peak just made sense for Popoola Sr. as he already had plans to move to the Beehive state.

In addition to scouting, Popoola Sr. helps run Elite Athletic Training equipment, a company specializing in developing cutting edge training equipment for basketball players and their coaches.

“I love Utah,” he said. “I love the state and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for my business and a great opportunity for my son.”

At this time, Popoola Jr. was not available for comment. His father is incredibly excited to see how his son can contribute to the Knights’ success and how the Knights will help him prepare for the next step.

“Quincy Lewis has an unbelievable program,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great fit.”

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Kurt Hanson is covering BYU football and recreation across Utah Valley. He has been a sports editor at BYU's student-run paper, The Universe, and also interned at Men's Journal Magazine in New York and as a sports reporter at KKTV in Colorado Springs. He's a senior at BYU, graduating in April. Follow him on Twitter @kthehanson.

2 Comments

  1. AvatarKa'vianna kitch Reply

    To the division1 basketball recruiting moves to Utah I Ka ‘vianna Kitch from Las Vegas Nevada is written this letter to inform you that I attend Eldorado High School I’m a senior in high school I played basketball from Bailey Middle School all the way to high school my position is shooting guard/ point guard I’m 5’4 in height weight 130 haven’t been look at by any basketball Scouts that I know of I would truly appreciate if I could attend the division 1basketball recruiting moves to Utah to play basketball for your basketball organization if possible if giving a chance I’m willing and driven to work hard on my craft if the organization is willing to take a chance with me hope to hear from you soon looking forward to be apart of your basketball organization

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