CEDAR CITY, Utah, Aug. 10 - Southern Utah University's men's basketball team has received a commitment from Phoenix prep A.J. Hess, Thunderbird head coach Nick Robinson announced today.

Hess, a 6-foot-6 guard from Phoenix Country Day School, averaged 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 blocked shots, 2.4 steals and 2.4 assists last year in leading the Eagles to 31 wins and their first state championship. He earned a spot on the all-Arizona basketball team as well as Arizona's small schools Player of the Year honors. During his junior season he averaged 22.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

"We are excited and fortunate to welcome AJ to the Thunderbird family at this time of year," Robinson said. "He comes from a great family and has been taught well by his coaches. Having won a high school championship earlier this year, A.J.'s versatility and competitive nature adds depth to our team as we enter the Big Sky."

Hess joins fellow preps Drake Thomas, Zach Ghormley and Austin Waddoups as well as JuCo transfer Jayson Cheesman in the Thunderbirds' 2012 recruiting class. Hess, Thomas, Ghormley and Cheesman will all be with the Thunderbirds when school begins, while Waddoups plans on serving an LDS church mission prior to enrolling.

-- SUU --