The New Southern California Basketball
SoCalHoops Prep & High School News Report

More Fullerton: 7'-2" 290 lb.
Center Mitch Deve Signs With Titans--(April 12,1998)

The Orange County Register reported this last week that in addition to local standout big man Josh Fisher, another somewhat unknown big man from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico will make his way to Fullerton next season. It seems that Mitch Deve, who signed with the Titans this past week was somewhat of an unknown this season; and he may not even play until the 1999-2000 season, redshirting during his first season.

Deve (pronounced Da-VAY) told the Register "I'll probably redshirt my first year, which would be good for me.

Deve is 7'-2", and currently weighs 290-pounds.

But if you think that's heavy, that's nothing compared to where he was during this last season. In fact the reason most people have never heard of this guy is that he didn't play for most of the year. He broke a bone in his right foot before the season, gained weight and didn't play much. His team this year went 19-6, made it to the New Mexico state tournament, but got eliminated in the first round.

According to his coach at La Cueva, Frank Castillo, "Mitch got up over 300 pounds and couldn't move around very well." But Deve says he's lost some of the weight: "I'm down to 290, which is a good weight for me," he said. Deve plans to work on his low-post offensive moves this summer. His rebounding and shot-blocking have already been the strongest parts of his game, but he'll work on them too.

We'll bet he couldn't. Castillo's program though at La Cueva is, year in and year out, one of the best in New Mexico. Castillo knows his big men. He's responsible for University of Arizona center A.J. Bramlett, who attended La Cueva.

Given Fullerton's season this year, which finished at 12-16, the word was that Bob Hawking might take the fall for the dismal season. But last week his contract was extended through the 1999-2000 season, which might be Deve's first season if he indeed redshirts next year. And even though Deve is just huge, Hawking was realistic enough to call him a "project." Hawking told the Register: "If he works hard he could be an important player for us in the future."

Fullerton has already signed Brandon Campbell (6'-4" Sr. G/F) from Cardinal Ritter High, in St. Louis, Missouri, Matt Donahue (6'-1" Sr. PG) from Etiwanda High in Etiwanda, California, and Josh Helbig (6'-6" Sr. G/F) from East Belleville High, in Belleville, Illinois.

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