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New Mexico crosses state line into Arizona for first 2016 commitment

Craig Neal, Hugh Greenwood

Craig Neal, Hugh Greenwood


The State of Arizona has proven to be a fertile recruiting ground for the New Mexico basketball program. Last July head coach Craig Neal landed a verbal commitment from 2015 shooting guard Dane Kuiper, and on Sunday he received a verbal commitment from another of the state’s top high school prospects.

6-foot-8 power forward Mitch Lightfoot, who will attend Gilbert Christian HS in Gilbert, Arizona after spending his first two years at Ironwood Ridge HS in Tucson, announced his decision to become a Lobo. Lightfoot, a member of the Class of 2016, made his decision on the heels of an unofficial visit to the school this weekend.

Both Lightfoot and Kuiper were on the New Mexico campus this weekend, with the latter taking his official visit to the school.

As a sophomore at Ironwood Ridge, Lightfoot posted averages of 15 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots per contest. The majority of New Mexico’s front court newcomers this season are juniors (junior college transfers Jordan Goodman, J.J. Nganga and Tim Williams Jr.), meaning that there are at least three spots for the Lobos to account for ahead of the 2016-17 season.

Adding Lightfoot to the equation helps in that regard, and it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next two years.

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