LOS ANGELES -- Actor/rapper Lil' Romeo is headed for
Southern California to play basketball.
The teenage hip-hop performer and DeMar DeRozan, another local
standout, signed national letters of intent to attend USC on Monday
at a news conference held at a posh hotel near Beverly Hills.
USC confirmed the signings, and announced that Donte Smith, a
5-foot-11 guard who averaged 21.7 points at Mt. San Antonio College
last season, had also signed.
Lil' Romeo, whose full name is Percy Romeo Miller, is currently
a senior guard at Beverly Hills High who averaged 13.9 points and
5.6 assists last season. His father, hip-hop mogul Master P, had
tryouts with two NBA teams in the 1990s.
"This is the most important thing I've had to do and hopefully
it sends a message to kids across the country that education is
more important than money," Miller said at the news conference.
"Getting a college scholarship is more important than winning an
American Music Award, and I plan to be the best student-athlete I
can be at USC."
One recruiting service ranks Miller, a 6-0, 170-pounder, among
the top 15 prep point guards in the country.
DeRozan, a 6-7, 200-pounder, averaged 22.3 points as a junior at
Compton High last season and is rated as one of the best shooting
guards in the nation.
"To come from Compton and to be able to get an athletic
scholarship at a major university like USC is the greatest feeling
in the world," DeRozan said. "This is a place where I am able to
work hard and reach my dreams and will hopefully take this to the
pros after college."