We recently reported that Westwind Prep Academy 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior combo-guard prospect Tate De Laveaga had two different division-I scholarship offers on the table for himself. Well, those two offers turned out to be enough for the talented 2014 guard prospect - enough for him to make his college decision.
On Saturday afternoon, after speaking with the Northern Arizona coaching staff, De Laveaga decided to pull the trigger on his college recruitment - giving an early verbal pledge to Northern Arizona University head coach Jack Murphy and his hard working basketball staff.
De Laveaga also held a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii, but chose to stay close to home for his collegiate future. He also was generating serious division-I interest from such programs as New Mexico, Harvard, Colgate, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State, UC-Riverside, Liberty, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Francisco, Montana and Idaho State.
De Laveaga competed for his first two high school seasons at Horizon High School, but after his father, Jeff De Laveaga, decided to take over the helm at local prep basketball power Westwind Prep, Tate decided to make the transfer to Westwind Prep with his brother - 6-foot-3 senior guard Kye De Laveaga.
Amongst a lot of scrutiny from local high school coaches and Arizona basketball enthusiasts, De Laveaga has not allowed anything to hinder his development as a player. Instead, Tate has worked hard on his game and has spent many hours in the weight room developing his body. This young man has added 15 pounds of muscle to his once thin frame, and just since the summer. This rapid development as a player was enough to garner him serious recruiting attention from numerous division-I college programs this fall.
Tate’s rapid development as a player was very evident in this year’s recent Arizona Preps Fall Showcase, as he looked very comfortable on the floor and outplayed each guard that he was matched up with in the event. The increased competition that Tate has faced this year on Westwind’s National High School program has also been instrumental in his development as a guard prospect.
De Laveaga was also coming off an excellent showing for himself this past spring and summer, where he raised his level of play a great deal. De Laveaga’s performance during the off-season helped his club team, the Arizona Magic Pump N’ Run-2014, to receive consideration among the nation’s elite 16U teams in the country. Tate’s best club performance came in a game against one of the nation’s premier club programs – the Oakland Soldiers. In the game, Tate scored 18 first-half points in his club team’s victory over the Soldiers – one of the biggest club victories in Arizona history.
De Laveaga becomes Westwind Prep's third prospect to land a division-I scholarship since the start to the school year - joining senior guard John Marshall (Southern Utah signee) and also junior post Connor MacDougall (Arizona State commit). De Laveaga is also the third member of Arizona's loaded 2014 class to commit to a division-I college program.
The Northern Arizona coaching staff, still in their first year of operation, has already done an excellent job in landing many of Arizona's top-rated prospects. De Laveaga will now join Peoria High School graduate Dewayne Russell (currently a freshman at NAU), Red Mountain's Travis Meeker and Greenway's Chris Miller, with each prospect electing for the Lumberjacks.
"I couldn't be happier," said De Laveaga. "It's everything I've ever wanted. I always dreamed of playing division-I basketball."
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: De Laveaga is a tough, combo-guard prospect that is a winner and has always played at a high level amidst his age group and even older. Tate is capable of playing both guard positions on the floor, but is at this best from the shooting guard position where he is able to score the basketball at a high rate. Tate is also a deadly shooter with nice range on his shot, and is able to create his own shot off the dribble against defensive pressure. He has a quick release on his shot. A tenacious penetrator, Tate drives the basketball hard to the basket and is an excellent finisher for his size. Has a nice mid-range game, which sets up his drives to the basket and scoring opportunities for his teammates. An aggressive defender that forces turnovers. A good passer that sees the floor. More focus on making players around him better will allow for him to continue to develop as a point guard. A very good ball handler that can get to anywhere he wants on the floor. A very good looking combo-guard prospect for the mid-major division-I level currently, but could develop into a higher prospect.