Men's Basketball Signs David Jesperson of Wisconsin to NLI
May 21, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine men's basketball coach Marty Wilson added another promising young student-athlete to the roster on Tuesday when he announced that David Jesperson, a 6-foot-8 forward from Merrill (Wis.) High School, has signed a letter-of-intent.
ESPN.com rated Jesperson as the state of Wisconsin's 10th-best recruit, while WisSports.net had him as the #15 senior in the class of 2013.
"David is a very skilled player for his size with all-around abilities to handle the ball, pass it and score from inside and out," Wilson said. "He has a high basketball IQ and plays the game with a great deal of confidence at both ends."
Jesperson, who visited Pepperdine last week, said: "I really felt comfortable with everyone at Pepperdine, and I liked how close they were. If I was going to go far from home I wanted to have a good relationship with the coaches and players. I liked the setup of the campus, everything was very nice."
He was named to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 all-state first team as a senior, and also received all-state honorable mention notice from the Associated Press. Jesperson averaged 19.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists and shot 55.3% from the field, 38.2% on three-pointers and 81.4% from the free throw line. After the season, he was selected to play in the WBCA All-Star Game.
"David is a well-rounded player," said Merrill Coach Kurt Soderberg. "He's young for a senior, having just turned 18. Given his age, his ceiling is really high. He's going to get better and better because he's still maturing and has room to grow. He's got a strong skill set, and he can score around the basket and from outside the three-point line. He's as good a player as I've had with catching and shooting the three in transition. At the college level I'd project him to be a stretch 4, who will do well with screen-and-pops or screen-and-rolls. He had to do everything for us, particularly as a senior. We had a point guard but when the game was tight David would handle the ball. We'd ask him to score inside. He's a got a great nose for the ball in terms of getting rebounds."
Jesperson was a unanimous choice for the All-Wisconsin Valley Conference first team both of his final two years. As a junior, he averaged 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.
As a 2011 sophomore, Jesperson helped Merrill to the state championship game, where the Bluejays lost to Whitefish Bay. He played four years on the varsity, starting all 76 games his final three years, and finished as the school's fifth all-time leading scorer (1,051 points).
"David's a late bloomer who really came on in the last 18 months," said Jason Jesperson, one of David's older brothers and head coach of the AAU Wisconsin Playmakers team. "He can really shoot it and he's a good athlete. He can shoot the three as well as any kid his size. He can also put it on the floor and get by his guy. David is a coach's dream. He's a bright kid, a good student and he loves basketball. I'm guessing they'll have to kick him out the gym, more than they'll have to force him to get in there."
Another older brother, Paul, was a starting guard at Virginia this past season.
David Jesperson is the fifth newcomer that the Waves have signed for 2013-14. In the fall, they landed a trio of incoming freshmen: Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) and Jeff Van Dyke (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS). Last month, they added JC transfer Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Cardozo HS/Lamar CC).
Additionally, Wilson announced today that Moriba De Freitas (Bon Air Gardens, Trinidad/Williston State JC) will not be returning for his senior season. De Freitas spent two years at Pepperdine, first redshirting the 2011-12 season, then starting 13 of 30 games this past year and averaging 2.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks. His departure means that the Waves still have one more scholarship that they could utilize for the upcoming season.