Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint.
By David Cordova
In the city of Las Vegas, everybody knows it as the place for entertainment. But basketball is also another form of entertainment in the place they call, “Sin City.” For many years, the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV have brought excitement to the city and have made it a basketball hotbed.
When it comes to high school basketball, there has also been plenty of talent coming out of there through the years. Many of them have come from Bishop Gorman High School, a private co-ed institution of 1,470 students which is known for its education and for its athletics.
One player representing the school well is none other than Isaiah Cottrell. A 6-foot-9 senior forward, he is rated as the No. 82 recruit in the Class of 2020 in the ESPN Top 100 recruiting rankings and one of the reasons for that is high motor and his athleticism. He’s also very strong when going up for rebounds or to the rim.
Back in June, Cottrell stood out at the NBPA Top 100 Camp at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. When asked about his time at the prestigious camp, where he was seen by college coaches from around the nation and scouts from all 30 NBA franchises, he replied, “It’s been great, you know, playing with all these guys, it’s a really big opportunity for all of us.”
When asked about playing in front of the NBA scouts and coaches, he replied, “It’s good, I’m used to [college] coaches coming in, but NBA scouts, it’s definitely a new experience and it’s going to be good for me.”
Last season, he led the Gorman Gaels to a 28-5 record and its eighth consecutive state championship, while also averaging 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game. After their season in Nevada was done, Bishop Gorman came out to New York to play in the GEICO National High School Tournament.
When asked about the experience and if he’d ever play in New York again, he replied, “It was a really big experience, but I really liked the vibes in New York and it was really special playing in a renowned area.”
When asked about the culture of basketball in Las Vegas, Cottrell replied, “It’s getting a lot more popular, [we’re] really putting our name on the map, so it’s going to be great in a few more years.”
On the strengths and weaknesses in his game, he replied, “I’m very versatile, I can knock down shots, I have great post ability, I’m a good rebounder, a good shot blocker. My weakness is just becoming a leader, and getting stronger, I would say.”
On June 13th, while he was at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Cottrell decided to end his recruiting sweepstakes effectively by verbally committing to West Virginia to play for legendary head coach, Bob Huggins. This November, he will sign his letter of intent during the fall signing period.
When asked about West Virginia prior to committing there, he replied, “Just showing that they really not just want me, but need me, and their efforts of coming out across the country [to recruit me], that’s a factor.”
Huggins, who is known to be a disciplinarian, is a coach who demands nothing but excellence from his players. When asked if he was open to that style of coaching, Cottrell replied, “I don’t mind, I think it’s good for me, ‘cause I know it’s never personal. It’s just goint to make me better as a person and as a player.”
Now that he is a senior, his plan is to help Bishop Gorman win their ninth consecutive Nevada state championship and also get ready to play in the Big 12 Conference. But one thing is certain, all Isaiah Cottrell plans to keep doing is to get better and be the best player he can be.
When asked what could be expected of him in the future, he replied, “Just a lot of versatility, and I’m going do whatever it takes to win and I’m going to show what I can really do.”