Two players with Tucson ties highlight the first recruiting class of UNLV coach Lindy La Rocque — Sahuaro standout Alyssa Brown and Costa Mesa (Calif.) Mater Dei guard Alyssa Durazo-Frescas.
Durazo-Frescas’ great grandfather Albert M. Gallego has the skate park named after him at Santa Rita Park. Gallego, a native Tucsonan and graduate of Tucson High School, was president of The Santa Rita Neighborhood Association for several years and was involved in various city projects at the time of his death in 2008. He was a member of “Los Viejos Amigos,” a social club started in 1993.
Her great grandmother Bertha “Bodie” Gallego played semipro fastpitch softball in Tucson for the Flirts in the 1940s. Her aunt Norma Gallego played for the Arizona softball program in 1975-76.
Brown and Durazo-Frescas are part of the first UNLV class with multiple top-100 ranked recruits. Durazo-Frescas was ranked No. 64 and Brown No. 66 by ESPNHoopGurlz this fall. Also joining La Rocque’s recruiting class is Kenadee Winfrey (Canyon, Texas), Kiara Jackson (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Taylin Smith (Beaverton, Ore.).
“We are super excited to officially add this stellar recruiting class to our Lady Rebels family,” La Rocque said in a press release issued by UNLV. “First and foremost, they are outstanding young women with high character and great students in the classroom. On top of that, they are excellent basketball players with a burning love for the game and a deep desire to be the very best they can be.”
Brown was named Player of the Year in Arizona by Gatorade, Arizona Republic, Arizona Central, MaxPrep and was the Arizona Female Athlete of the Year. Twice selected as the Southern Arizona Player of the Year by AllSportsTucson.com, the 6-1 forward holds the school’s single season scoring record at 932 points (set last season).
She averages 23.8 points a game with 8.4 rebounds in her career. She scored 31.1 points a game last season. She ranks 25th in state history with 2,094 career points.
A three-time first-team all-state and all-conference selection, she also ranks sixth in the Southern Arizona career scoring leader charts. Brown led the Cougars to the state semifinals all three years, including one state championship runner-up finish last season.
“Alyssa ‘AB’ Brown is a very mature and driven young woman,” said La Rocque. “A high achieving student in the classroom that matches her work ethic and passion for basketball on the court. She is a skilled, versatile forward that can score in many different ways to punish defenses. We are thrilled to have Alyssa on our team.”
Durazo-Frescas is a 5-7 combo guard who played for both Mater Dei High School as well as the West Coast Premier EYBL club team. For Mater Dei, she has already scored more than 1,000 points while leading the Monarchs to three Trinity League championship titles and the CIF Open Division championship.
She was named First-Team All-Trinity League, All-Orange County and All-CIF Open Division and was nominated for the USA Today Los Angeles Sports Award after averaging 13.8 points per game her junior season.
In addition to Brown and Durazo-Frescas having Tucson ties, the Rebels also have redshirt freshman forward Tianna Carter of CDO and former Marana and Pima standout Alyssa Perez as a team manager.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.