It was a wild recruiting ride for two-time NJCAA All-American Yaxel Lendeborg. After a previous commitment to St. John's University, and then deciding to re-open his college recruitment, after the firing of former Head Coach Mike Anderson, Lendeborg became available again for college coaches to pursue. After waiting on the right college suitor for himself, Lendeborg and his Arizona Western teammate, 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Marquis Hargrove, both announced in surprising fashion on social media that they had both decided to accept scholarship offers to UAB.
UAB Head Coach Andy Kennedy will enter his fourth season next fall at the helm for UAB, where he has had (3) consecutive 20+ winning seasons at UAB. Kennedy and his staff proved why their program is on the rise, after landing Lendeborg and Hargrove. Both prospects are among two of the nation's top juco prospects, although landing Lendeborg is a handful, as he is among the nation's elite juco prospects.
Lendeborg is a two-time NJCAA All-American forward, was the 2022 ACCAC Player of the Year and First Team All-Region honors in both junior college seasons. He averaged 17.2 points per game and led the ACCAC and the NJCAA in rebounds with 13.0 rebounds per/game. Lendeborg also shot an eye-popping 72.7% from the field, and an impressive 43.8% from three-point distance. Lendeborg is a sure-fire immediate impact performer at the high-major Division-I level.
Lendeborg is a tremendous talent with very good versatility for his size. He is able to play inside and out, and was used a lot the past two seasons by Head Coach Kyle Isaacs to handle the basketball from the point guard position, and make plays for his teammates - creating off the dribble and attacking the rim. Lendeborg is very skilled and fundamentally sound with good agility, hands and feet. His versatility allows him to play several positions on the floor, and his skillset compliments him, as he can score with his back to the basket or while facing from the wing. He is fluid in his approach, which will continue to benefit him, as he continues to mature over time. He runs the floor hard and is a strong finisher in the open floor. He is also a strong and active rebounder and has a college-ready body that will make him an immediate impact performer at the next level.
Arizona Western JC sophomore guard Marquis Hargrove is an unheralded prospect that did not generate nearly as much college recruitment as Lendeborg, but, in the end, landed at the same place. Hargrove is comimng off an excellent sophomore season, where he helped Arizona Western JC win the ACCAC Conference Title this past junior college season, while averaging 14.5 points and 3.8 rebounds. Hargrove came up big for Arizona Western down the stretch this junior college season and is one of the top juco guard prospects in the West.
These are two excellent additions to the UAB basketball program, as Lendeborg was ranked as a Top 10 National junior college prospect by many national juco scouts and media. Congratulations to both ACCAC performers on this amazing accomplishment, and congratulations to the Arizona Western Junior College basketball program on placing these two young men at a Division-I college program. Head Coach Kyle Isaacs and his staff have done an excellent job since taking over the AWC men's basketball program.