Trojans Sign Three Prep Standouts

Nov. 18, 2003

Prep standouts Robert Swift from Bakersfield, Calif., Gabriel Pruitt from Westchester, Calif., and Emanuel Willis from Mendenhall, Miss., have signed letters of intent with USC, Trojan men's basketball coach Henry Bibby announced Tuesday (Nov. 18).

'There is no better class in the country this year' said Bibby. 'We've got one of the best big men in the country in Robert Swift who we feel can be an immediate impact player. Emanuel Willis is the most athletic player we've had here outside of Jeff Trepagnier.

'Gabriel Pruitt is a guy who can come in and play three positions for us. He's someone who got overlooked because he didn't play last year, but he had a fantastic summer. I'm tickled pink with the class. All three will make a difference.'

Swift, a 7-foot, 230-pound center from Bakersfield (Calif.) High, is listed among the Top 2 prep centers in the country by most preseason publications and among the Top 15 players overall. As a junior at Garces High in Bakersfield in 2003, Swift averaged 19.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game, earning All-State second team honors.

He led Garces to a 32-5 record last year before falling in the CIF Southern Section Division IV final. Swift is listed No. 7 overall by Insiders.com, No. 8 by Lindy's Basketball, No. 11 by USA Today and No. 12 by Basketball News.

Pruitt, a 6-foot-3, 160-pound point guard, is a senior at Westchester (Calif.) High and is listed among the top 20 prep point guards by Athlon Sports and Insiders.com. He sat out his junior season at Westchester in 2003 because of high school transfer rules, but averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 assists as a sophomore at Centennial High in 2002, leading his team to the California Division III state final.

Willis, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward, attends Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. Willis prepped at Mendenhall (Miss.) High, where he averaged 21.0 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as a senior in 2003. He was listed among the top prep seniors in America by Athlon Sports.

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