North Texas standout Tony Mitchell tuned up for his freshman season by playing in the FIBA U-19 World Championships a year ago.
Arthur Casimiro, one of the players he faced during the tournament, decided to follow the path Mitchell blazed to Denton on Wednesday.
The 6-10 center committed to UNT after visiting the school. He will play the upcoming season at San Bernardino (Calif.) Community College and then have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Casimiro is a member of the Brazilian national team.
Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day recruits in the class of 2013 can sign national letters of intent is Nov. 14, the first day of the early-signing period.
“I looked at the program and really liked it,” Casimiro said Wednesday. “I really liked it.”
David Anwar, a former Nebraska assistant who joined Tony Benford’s staff this past spring, recruited Casimiro.
Casimiro named the rapport he has developed with Anwar as one of the main reasons he decided to commit to UNT.
Casimiro averaged 1.4 points and 0.6 rebounds in seven games in the FIBA U-19 World Championships.
San Bernardino head coach Quincy Brewer expects Casimiro to blossom in junior college before arriving at UNT. Casimiro will have a full season to continue adjusting to playing at the college level before arriving at UNT.
“He’s a very good player and is left-handed,” Brewer said. “He has a good hook shot with his left hand and his right hand. He is a lot like [Lakers forward] Pao Gasol as a player in terms of his game.”
Brewer expects Casimiro to continue to develop physically in terms of his size and strength as he continues to play in the U.S.
Casimiro knew a little more about UNT’s program from playing against Mitchell on the international level.
Mitchell led the U.S. team in rebounding and blocked shots in the U-19 World Championships.
He went on to be named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and played in a series of summer camps for top NBA prospects this summer.
Mitchell is expected to declare for the NBA draft after the upcoming season and will likely never play with Casimiro.
There is little doubt he helped lure Casimiro to UNT, though.
“I got to know Tony at the world championships,” Casimiro said. “We played against him.”
Casimiro is the third frontcourt player UNT has landed for its 2013 signing class. The Mean Green has also picked up commitments from Midland College forward Anthony Norris and Tony Nunn, a center who will play the upcoming season at Oldsmar Christian in Florida.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
The following players have orally committed to sign with North Texas in its 2013 recruiting class:
San Bernardino (Calif.) CC
Oldsmar Christian (Fla.)