Mark Harwell, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds is a 3-star hoops star out of Century HS in Pocatello and the the top rated prospect in Idaho. He turned down offers from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah State, Tulsa and Toledo, among others. Paris Austin (5-11, 160 lbs), a senior from Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High, is a 4-star rated recruit by ESPN.com and one of the top guards in the state of California. Austin also turned down offers from other schools that included Florida State, Tulsa, and Montana.
But these two basketball standouts also have in common is they signed their contracts to play basketball for head coach Leon Rice the Boise State Broncos.
"They’re different kinds of players," Rice said after they signed, "but they share the same characteristics with their work ethic, desire to get better and terrific team-first attitude."
It's official. The newest Broncos are Malek Harwell (Pocatello, Idaho) and Paris Austin (Oakland, Calif.)! Just signed their NLIs.— Boise State Men's BB (@BroncoSportsMBB) November 13, 2014
The Broncos lose four players on scholarship at the end of this season, including talented standouts Derrick Marks and Anthony Drmic. The addition of these talented players will help fill
Harwell averaged 21 points and 4.5 rebounds last season and led his team to the runner-up finish at the 4A state tournament. Harwell visited Boise State in the first week of September and gave Rice his verbal commitment. "The most exciting thing about Malek is his tremendous upside," Rice said. "That, coupled with his work ethic and drive to be a great player, has this staff confident about his future at Boise State."
Austin Paris averaged 17 points and five assists per game last season for Bishop O'Dowd, one of the top high school basketball teams in California. He verbally committed to the Broncos while on an official visit two weeks at the beginning of November.
"There aren’t many guards throughout the country that have Paris’ feel for the game," said Rice. "He is a unique player because of his leadership and ability to make players around him better and our system will compliment his skill set perfectly."
The Broncos open their 2014 season tomorrow afternoon against the University of San Diego Toreros in the first game of the LMU Classic in LMU's Gersten Pavilion, Los Angeles, California.