RAMS LAND HEATH HOUSTON TO ROUND OUT 2010 RECRUITING CLASS

RICHMOND, Va. – While the rest of the world was enjoying the start of summer, Head Coach Shaka Smart and his Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball coaching staff was busy finalizing the class of 2010 with the addition of Heath Houston.

Houston, a 6-8, 240-pound power forward out of Hillgrove High Schol in Powder Springs, Ga., inked his paperwork and will join the Black & Gold this upcoming fall. He is the sixth and final member of the 2010 class which already includes Toby Veal (Savannah, Ga./Northwest Florida State College), D.J. Haley (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale), Juvonte Reddic (Winston-Salem, N.C./Quality Education Academy)Reco McCarter (Goldsboro, N.C./Wayne Country Day) and Rob Brandenburg (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln).

"We're extremely fortunate to be able to add such a high quality student-athlete like Heath at this time of year," Smart said. "He's a valuable addition to a young, but very talented frontcourt."

At Hillgrove, Houston was a four-year starter earning All-State honors at the 4A level after being a constant force down low for the Hawks.

"Heath is an excellent athlete who possesses a college-ready body and range that extends beyond the arc," Smart added.

"Heath is a big time sleeper with a tremendous upside," ESPN.com Recruiting Coordinator Mike LaPlante said. "He's improved his skill level and is more confident playing with his face to the basket. He has a quick bounce off the floor and finishes plays on the break with an explosive jam."

He originially committed to Auburn , but after Jeff Lebo was dismissed as head coach, he looked to Smart and the Rams. Other schools with interest in Houston were Cincinnati, Clemson, East Carolina and Winthrop.

As skilled as he is on the court, he's just as talented off it with an outstanding academic pedigree which he plans to apply to an engineering degree.

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