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NM Highlands hoops team adds ABQ High, West Mesa players

The University of New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball program continues to add quality in-state talent to its 2018-19 roster as the Cowboys signed a pair of New Mexico players along with a guard out of a prep school in Arizona.

Coming to Las Vegas is 6-foot-7, all-metro Albuquerque High grad Marlon Cunningham, 6-foot, all-state West Mesa  grad Jose Vigil and 6-foot-3, Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix) guard Deshon Jacobs.

Along with adding three New Mexico signees earlier this year, the Cowboys have five Land of Enchantment products coming to campus this fall.

“I am very pleased with our incoming freshman class this year along with the transfers we’ve added,” NMHU coach Craig Snow said. “Marlon coming on board late was kind of the icing on the cake in terms of our in-state guys. He has a game physically ready for this level and we are excited about his future development. Jose and Deshon are both solid perimeter guys that are multi-faceted in how they can impact a game.”

Cunningham, along with being 6-foot-7 has a strong frame at 245 pounds, capped his prep career at Albuquerque High by averaging 16 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the Bulldogs – helping them reach the Class 6A state tournament. Along with being named all-metro, he earned first-team all-district honors as well as being selected to the NMHSCA North/South All-Star Game in 2018.

Cunningham had been a University of New Mexico commit to then-coach Craig Neal, who was dismissed from the position in spring of 2017.

Vigil earned second-team all-state honors his senior season (also named all-metro, all-district and a North/South All-Star) for West Mesa after averaging 16.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game – helping the Mustangs reach the Class 6A state quarterfinals. The sharp-shooting guard shot 41 percent from 3-point range as a senior (50-for-121) while hitting 84 percent of his free throw attempts (171-for-203). He was consistent as well, reaching double figures in 26 of 29 games as a senior.

Vigil shined in the state playoffs scoring 26 points (on 9-for-13 shooting) in West Mesa’s first-round victory and a season-high 31 points (hitting five 3-pointers) to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the Mustangs’ state quarterfinal loss.

Jacobs comes to the Cowboys after spending last season at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix where he averaged 12 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Prior to Hillcrest, Jacobs was at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois.

These three go along with the Cowboys’ signees in the fall in Mario Archuleta (6-0, Pecos High School), Gerad Davis (6-4, North Las Vegas, Nev., Northern Colorado transfer), Jaylen Domina-Lovato (5-11, Eldorado High School), Bollo Gnahore (6-11, Ivory Coast, Africa, New Mexico State transfer), Raquan Mitchell (6-3, Homestead, Fla., Colorado State transfer) and Eric Sonnenberg (6-7, Manzano High School).

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