Throughout the recruiting process Yanick Moreira heard an array of compliments from coaches, who told him he could come in and make an immediate impact for their teams.
But that's not exactly what the South Plains C.C. power forward wanted to hear.
When he spoke with SMU head coach Larry Brown, the conversations were different. Moreira and the legendary basketball coach developed a strong bond and on Wednesday afternoon, he committed to SMU.
"All these other coaches wanted to talk about letting me do what I wanted to do," Moreira said. "Coach Brown said listen to me, and I'll make you a pro player. I thought that was great. He was just different."
Brown and assistant coach Jerrance Howard visited Moreira and saw him play numerous times in the last couple of months including this week when Howard made a personal appearance at his practice.
"Coach Howard came to see me, and I was kind of scared but I told him coach my season is starting, and I want to make my decision and go to SMU," Moreira said. "So I called Coach Brown and told him I'm committing to SMU. He said oh my God welcome to the family. It was like he didn't believe it."
This month Moreira made official visits to Baylor and Oregon, but his trip to SMU in September stood out to him the most.
"I think it was the best school for me. I liked the campus and the facilities when I visited" Moreira said. "I really liked coaches. The assistants were really cool. They called me and texted me all the time, which showed they cared. Dallas and SMU just felt like home."
Last season, Moreira averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks as he led undefeated South Plains C.C. to a NJCAA National Championship. But Moreira hopes he can put up even better numbers at SMU over the next couple of years.
"I just need to get there and work hard," Moreira said. "When I was on my visit, Coach Brown asked me for three things. He said I want you to run the floor, rebound, and block every shot. I want to make him happy."
The 7-footer added that his commitment to SMU is completely solid and now, he's just focused on helping South Plains C.C. go undefeated for the second consecutive season.
"We lost a couple of guys, but we are going to try to do it like we did last year and go undefeated," he said. "We just have to keep pushing all these freshmen so we can go undefeated and win the championship."
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