ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Texas A&M junior guard / forward (Hightower High graduate) Danuel House
By Michael Sudhalter
Texas A&M junior forward Danuel House, a Hightower High graduate, is leading a basketball renaissance in Aggieland.
House, 22, transferred to A&M from the University of Houston where he was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and earned Freshman All-American honors.
He didn’t disappoint when he arrived in College Station, averaging 16.2 points per game last season en route to earning first team All-SEC honors.
A&M (18-3) reached the second round of the NIT last season, but they haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2011 (former coach Mark Turgeon’s last season in College Station).
It’s been a process for head coach Billy Kennedy’s team. As the No. 8 team in the nation, the Aggies are on their way back to the Big Dance —barring a total collapse.
They’ll host South Carolina on Saturday at Reed Arena.
“We started from the bottom and worked our way up,” House said. “It’s really exciting to see the hard work paying off. We spent a lot of late nights in the gym, and we bonded well as a team, off the court. We went out to eat and went to see movies with each other. The fans are starting to pick up, and everyone’s starting to take notice.”
House, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 207 pounds, played two varsity seasons at Hightower, after transferring from Sharpstown High in southwest Houston.
He’s one of a few college basketball players on this year’s Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List.
How did you initially choose the University of Houston?
“It’s close to home, and I had a good relationship with (then) Coach James Dickey, and it just went from there. After he left, it was time for a new start and time for me to play in a Power 5 Conference. I got recruited by A&M out of high school, but I chose UH due to my relationship with Coach Dickey.”
What do you like about playing in the SEC?
“It’s great. The venues are great, and the crowds are loud. On the road, everyone comes to see you lose, and there are tough games and opponents.”
What do you remember about your time at Hightower?
“I just remember that we didn’t lose in two years in our home gym, and I remember only losing nine games, going to state and losing a game just before state.”
How do you feel about playing Kentucky on Feb. 20?
“It’s going to be great – a great atmosphere.”
Will A&M make its first Final Four in program history?
“We’re trying to take it one game at a time, but that would be great. It would put people on notice that basketball is back at A&M.”
How do you like playing for Coach Kennedy?
“It’s fun. It’s an NBA-type offense.”