The 2021 Rice Basketball recruiting class has its first commitment. Forward Damion McDowell has made his pledge to the Owls.
After a tumultuous spring, Rice basketball was in need of good news on the recruiting front. An offseason full of transfers, both to and from South Main, had left the Owls with a rebuilt roster. With the 2020 class signing and secured — Furman transfer Tre Clark was the most recent, and hopefully final addition — the Owls were able to turn their focus toward 2021.
Rice basketball now has its first commitment from that next wave. 6-foot-6 forward Damion McDowell from St. Bernard Catholic School in Los Angeles, CA. McDowell chose Rice over offers from UC San Diego and Montana State.
McDowell called the decision two-pronged, “Rice is a win-win as it has a competitive academic and basketball program,” he said. Going out of state was a big step for him, but staying within a relatively short flight from southern California provided some relief. He says he feels like he fits well with the Owls’ style of play and felt valued.
The addition of McDowell secures one of a limited number of spots in the 2021 Rice Basketball recruiting class. Before any potential transfers are accounted for, the Owls will probably be limited to two more slots. The staff has handed out a few offers over the past few weeks, but McDowell was the first to act. The virtual nature of recruiting during the COVID-19 restrictions doesn’t seem to have slowed things down much at all.
McDowell tips the scales somewhere around 200 pounds. His strong frame will be an asset to the Owls. Check out this highlight video below to see more of what McDowell will bring to the table when he gets to South Main.