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October 10, 2013For 6-foot-5 guard, Albert Almanza from Austin St Stephen's, the choice was easy. Stay close to home, or to leave. After a visit to both Montana State and Sam Houston State, it was clear to Almanza that Sam had every thing that he needed in a school and basketball program, while staying close to his family.
"The campus was great and the basketball program has a winning tradition," said Almanza. "I really liked the coaching staff and what they had to offer in terms of winning and wanting the best for their players on and off the court."
Almanza hit the recruiting radar back in April as he played for the Next Level Cats. He was able to be one of the main scorers and gave recruiters a taste of his versatility.
With a strong frame and ability to hit the outside shot, Almanza will be utilized at both the two and the three in head coach, Jason Hooten's system.
"The coaches like that I can be a threat at multiple spots on the floor," added Almanza. "I can guard a three man, and the [two guard]. I will have the chance on offense to score and use my size against smaller guards."
Recruitment was a bit up and down for Almanza after a strong start. He wasn't sure what would happen, but he wanted to be given the chance to stay close to family.
"Everything seemed on point at the end of April, but then it slowed down a bit. I realized who was serious and who wanted me for my abilities. Having this opportunity to play for a great coach and program is what I wanted. It also is close to Austin for my entire family to come out and watch me play."
The Almanza Files:
-Almanza is a TexasHoops.com Academic All-Star with a 28 ACT
-Almanza's father, Boone played at Houston Baptist
-His grandfather, Albert played at the University of Texas (HOF)
-Grandfather also played on two Olympic teams for Mexico, 1960 and 1964
Texas Hoops Analysis:ALBERT is a versatile guard that can put the ball on the floor and create off the dribble. He is very strong with the ball as he drives to the basket. He plays physical on both ends and can push the ball up court. He has a nice touch on his shot, hitting threes and mid-range jumpers. He rebounds and plays hard-nose defense.