Boston High School: UNLV Rebels

WMA's Okonoboh commits to UNLV

October, 3, 2013
Wilbraham & Monson senior forward Goodluck Okonoboh announced his commitment to UNLV during halftime of ESPNU's broadcast of the Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana-Monroe tonight.

The 6-foot-9 Okonoboh -- a Boston resident, and the No. 21 overall 2014 prospect according to ESPNU -- chose the Rebels over Duke, Florida, Indiana and Ohio State. He took official visits to UNLV and Ohio State within the last week.

When Okonoboh arrives in Las Vegas next fall, he will join former Notre Dame Prep star and McDonald's All-American Khem Birch among alums from the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) on the Rebels' roster.

"Me and coach [Dave] Rice established a real good relationship," Okonoboh told ESPN's Adam Finkelstein. "They play really fast, and that style of play fits me. I can go right in and do what I do defensively, but also have some freedom offensively."

Okonoboh told Finkelstein he came away from his recent trip to UNLV convinced the coaching staff could help him take his game to the next level.

"The blueprint they had for me was second to none. The amount of intensity the team had in practice, how the coaches develop their big men, and, again, just the blueprint they had for me personally," Okonoboh said.

Finkelstein has more on the big man's commitment on the college basketball RecruitingNation blog HERE.

Former ND Prep star Birch transfers to UNLV

January, 9, 2012
The University of Nevada Las Vegas officially announced the transfer of former Notre Dame Prep forward and McDonald's All-American Khem Birch, several weeks after the Montreal native abruptly left the University of Pittsburgh just 10 games into his college career.

According to reports, Birch was also strongly considering Florida. Last week, Birch's mother Wendy Sparks told ESPN's Dave Telep that Birch would be visiting UNLV, Florida and New Mexico State.

From the University's official athletic program website:

LAS VEGAS ( - Khem Birch has signed a written offer of financial aid from UNLV and will join the men's basketball program next week, head coach Dave Rice announced Monday.

Birch, a 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound forward from Montreal, Quebec, is transferring to UNLV from the University of Pittsburgh and may begin practicing with the Runnin' Rebels when the spring semester begins (Tuesday, Jan. 17). He will have to sit out the next two semesters because of NCAA transfer rules and will be eligible to play in games for UNLV after the completion of the Fall 2012 semester. He will be a sophomore during the 2012-13 season with two years of eligibility remaining after that.

"We are excited to have Khem join our program," Rice said. "He is a versatile forward who will be a terrific player in our up-tempo system. He is a dominant defender and a great teammate."

At Pitt, Birch played in 10 games during the Fall 2011 semester as a freshman and made six starts. He averaged 4.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, while shooting 57.1 percent from the field in 15 minutes played per contest. He led the Panthers in rebounding in two games, including a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in his first career start in a win at Penn on Nov. 25. He was 6-for-8 from the field with three blocks and a steal in 28 minutes played that night.

A McDonald's High School All-American, Birch is a 2011 graduate of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. He was selected as a second-team USA Today All-American and averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots per game as a senior at Notre Dame Prep for head coach Ryan Hurd. He guided the Crusaders to the title game of the National Prep Championships last season.

In the annual McDonald's All-America Game, which was held at Chicago's United Center in March, Birch played for the West squad and led the team in scoring (15 points), rebounding (10, including nine offensive) and blocked shots (six).

Birch was ranked as the nation's No. 11 recruit and No. 1 power forward by ESPNU in the class of 2011, and he was No. 14 overall by and No. 17 by MaxPreps.

Birch joins Bryce Jones, Katin Reinhardt, Daquan Cook and Demetris Morant as Runnin' Rebel newcomers for the 2012-13 season.

Former ND Prep star Birch to take visits

January, 2, 2012
ESPN senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep reports today that former Notre Dame Prep forward Khem Birch, who abruptly left Pitt last month, will start taking visits this week.

Last season at Notre Dame Prep, Birch turned in a season good enough to become the first Montreal native to ever be selected to the McDonald's All-American Game. Last month, 10 games into his freshman season at Pitt, he abruptly left campus and returned to Canada, and asked for a release from his scholarship. He was the highest-ranked recruit to ever commit to Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon.

“Starting tomorrow he’s going to go to visit Florida, New Mexico State and UNLV,” Birch's mother, Wendy Sparks, told Telep. “The next week he wants to take a visit, too. I’m not sure where he’s going to visit next but he wants to make his decision next week.”

Sparks told Telep that Gonzaga and Oregon State are on a list for visits as well. In 10 games with Pitt, Birch averaged 4.4 points and five rebounds.

“He’s looking for development, a school that will develop him like a big man,” Sparks said. “Khem’s mentality is that he wants to play the sport and if he makes the (NBA) he wants to be good. Khem wants to learn as much as he can. He wants a school that’s going to run him up and down the court. He doesn’t want to play center, he wants to be a four.”

Notre Dame Prep's Glaze commits to Saint Louis

June, 10, 2011
Notre Dame Prep head coach Ryan Hurd told today that power forward and former UNLV signee Grandy Glaze has committed to Saint Louis for next season.

Glaze, a Brampton, Ontario native, was granted a release from his letter of intent to the Rebels when head coach Lon Kruger left to take over the Oklahoma program. South Florida, Iowa State, St. Joseph's and Providence were also after the 6-foot-6 Canadian.