Jake Flaggert, a 6-6 forward/guard from Lovejoy, Texas, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at UTEP and becomes the first member of the Miners’ 2013 recruiting class.

Flaggert earned first team All-District 11-3A honors as a junior last season, averaging 10 points, five rebounds and three assists while shooting 48 percent from the field and 78 percent from the line.  He helped the Leopards to a 29-8 record, district championship and no. 17 state ranking.

Flaggert was named Lovejoy’s offensive player of the year and was also tabbed to the Grady’s Texas Shootout and Whataburger All-Tournament teams.  He possesses a 35-inch vertical.

As a sophomore at Central Private School in Central, La., Flaggert averaged 16 points and eight rebounds, hitting 43 percent of his shots and 83 percent of his free throws.  He was a vital cog on a 33-3 team that captured district and conference titles while averaging over 100 points per game.  Flaggert was an All-State and All-District honoree while at Central Private School.

Flaggert also played for the Dallas Triumph AAU team.

“When you have a 35-inch vertical and can shoot the ball, it’s a great place to start,” UTEP Coach Tim Floyd said.  “His 6-6 frame is going to get stronger, and with that will come the confidence that will allow Jake to become a terrific college player.  We understand he had 18 points in the first quarter of a ball game last week.  It sounds like the confidence is already coming.  We are excited about this pickup.”

“He’s got tremendous upside,” said Lovejoy HS coach Kyle Herrema.  “I really think the player you see now is going to be completely different from the one you see in a few years as he continues to mature physically.  He’s really athletic and bouncy. He has the ability to drive, pull up and shoot over the top of people. He has an outstanding work ethic. I’ll go home at 6:30 [p.m.], and he’ll stay until 8 working on his game. You don’t see a lot of that in kids these days.”

“He’s very heady and coachable,” said Ed Palubinskas, Flaggert’s coach at Central Private School.  “He loves the game.  He had really good range on his shot when he played here, and I’m sure his shooting has improved even more [since then].  He’s your typical All-American type kid.  He has all of the qualities you would want someone to have on your team.”

UTEP is expected to announce additional signees in the coming days.

[UTEP Athletics]