For Rebel Basketball, Jamal Aytes Arrives Just in Time

fcbbbciff-pb-aytesftJust a little more than a month ago, Jamal Aytes wasn’t even on the UNLV basketball roster. Now the 6-foot-6 freshman forward could find himself playing a key role for the Rebels this season.

Aytes committed to UNLV on August 19, taking the scholarship that was vacated when guard Katin Reinhardt transferred to USC in May. He caught the eye of UNLV coach Dave Rice in July while playing for AAU team Dream Vision in the adidas Super 64 tournament at Rancho High School, dominating on both ends of the court. Aytes realizes that if he wants to play significant minutes for the Rebels this season, he’ll have to be an all-around contributor. “Defense and rebounding, those are my strengths,” he says. “I think I can bring those things to the table.”

Aytes is mobile enough to play multiple positions in the frontcourt, but he’s mostly been practicing at power forward. With sophomore forward Savon Goodman suspended for the season in August because of legal issues, Aytes may have to get up to speed sooner than expected.

As a senior at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, Aytes averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game, drawing the attention of such programs as Arizona, Gonzaga and Miami.


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