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February 02, 1995|SEAN WATERS


Westchester forward Ben Sanders said Tuesday that he will sign with a letter of intent to play basketball at Nevada Las Vegas.

Sanders, a 6-foot-5 senior forward who is averaging 20 points a game, was also being recruited by the University of Washington.

"I've always wanted to go to Las Vegas," Sanders said. "I like their style of play and their coach."

Sanders said he expects to play for first-year coach Tim Grgurich, who has not coached the Rebels since early January after apparently suffering from exhaustion.

"I'm sure he'll be back soon," Sanders said.

Sanders had a career game Friday against Los Angeles with 30 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals. With the score tied at 58 after three quarters, Sanders then scored 17 of his team's 34 points to help the Comets pull away for a 92-79 victory.

"He dominated the game," Westchester Coach Ed Azzam said.


Despite the excitement of receiving nationwide attention from college coaches, most local high school football players say they did not enjoy being recruited.

After receiving countless phone calls and making a maximum of five campus visits, players say they were happy to see the recruiting process end after two months of especially furious activity.

"I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders," Westchester defensive end Travor Turner said.

Turner, a 6-6, 200-pound senior, picked UCLA over Oregon after agonizing over the decision for two weeks.

Turner, whose mother works at UCLA, is a lifelong UCLA fan but was upset that the Bruins did not show interest in him at the beginning.

"I almost slipped through the cracks," Turner said. "It wasn't until my coach sent them films that they decided to recruit me."

Oregon, on the other hand, treated Turner like a standout from the outset; Duck Coach Rich Brooks was disappointed not to get "the Comet."

"He asked me if I was sure I made the right decision," Turner said. "It was difficult because of the way UCLA recruited me. But I didn't want to punish myself for the mistakes they made."

Turner, who will play linebacker in college, looks forward to playing against classmate Tony Griffin, a 6-2, 200-pound tight end who signed with USC.

"I look forward to him catching a little screen pass," Turner said. "I haven't hit Tony since I played on the dummy team in 10th grade. I look forward to that game."


Here's the latest recruiting information:

In addition to Griffin and Turner, three other Westchester football players are getting scholarships.

Wide receiver Courtney Brown (6-3, 210) signed with San Jose State.

Defensive back/wide receiver Louis Henderson recently returned from Hawaii, where he was offered a scholarship. Henderson, however, was getting interest from Cal and a few other Division I schools and was undecided about his future.

Running back Kaaron Conwright (5-8, 160) took trips to Iowa State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

"This is the most scholarships we've ever received since I've been at Westchester," said Larry Wein, who has been coaching at Westchester since 1982.

As expected, Culver City quarterback Damon Williams (6-3, 200) and receiver Jasiri Rodell (6-2, 190) have signed with Nevada Las Vegas. Centaur running back Aki Wilson (5-9, 160) is close to signing with the Rebels.

Rodell, who was named to the Cal-Hi Sports Magazine first team, committed to Nevada Las Vegas after making a trip last weekend.

"I think the main thing that sold me was their coaching staff," Rodell said. "They treated me like a friend."

Rodell wanted to sign with USC and was disappointed when the Trojans dropped him from consideration.

"USC told me to look elsewhere," he said. "I can't wait to play them. I want to make them regret their decision."

Beverly Hills quarterback Chris Wallace, who passed for 2,284 yards and 20 touchdowns, will take a trip to Weber State in Utah Friday and to New Mexico State on Sunday. Wallace is expected to receive a scholarship offer from both schools.

As previously reported, Norman offensive tackle Andrew Kline (6-3, 278) signed with San Diego State. Kline is a two-time Times' All-Westside selection.

St. Monica offensive tackle/defensive end Adrian Klemm signed to play for Hawaii.

Klemm, a 6-5, 255-pound senior, was a three-year starting offensive and defensive lineman. He was named to the Camino Real League team the past two seasons.

Mariner receiver Jason Jones is being recruited by San Diego State and San Jose State and tight end Carlos Casillas was offered a scholarship to San Jose State. Jones and Casillas were selected to The Times' 1994 Westside first team.

St. Bernard's Brandon Pernell, who will sign a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Miami, also plans to play football at the school. Pernell (6-2, 180) played quarterback and defensive back for the Viking football team and shortstop and pitcher for the baseball team.


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