Even though he's only been in the United States for 15 months, Angola native Yanick Moreira has already had accomplishments that many can only dream of.
Last season, the 6-foot-11 power forward helped South Plains College become 2012 NJCAA Division I National Champions with a perfect 36-0 season. In the championship game, Moreira had 14 defensive rebounds and picked up tournament MVP honors.
Now with his eyes set on his second season in Levelland, Texas, Moreira has even bigger aspirations.
"The reason why he's here is because he wants to play in the NBA," said South Plains assistant coach Hank Plona. "That's his biggest goal."
Ranked by Rivals.com as a four-star prospect, Moreira has schools looking at him from all over the country. When evaluating his next collegiate stop, the 2013 product has some necessities that he feels would better prepare him for the professional level.
"He wants to go somewhere that he will have an opportunity to play right away with a coaching staff that can help prepare him for the next level. He has a natural ability but at the same time, he has to get stronger and finish better around the basket.
"There are some things he needs to improve on to be a first round pick. He wants to be in a good league, so good competition with a solid coaching staff that can develop him to get where he wants to be is vital."
With the basketball season right around the corner, Plona expects his recruiting process to continue to gain steam. While Moreira has yet to narrow down any of his options, there are definitely a few programs that can be solidified as realistic options.
"I would say SMU and Baylor have been the most aggressive with him," said Plona. "I would think he'd probably visit those two schools. Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Oregon are talking to him as well and trying to get him to visit, from what I understand."
For SMU and first year head coach, Hall of Famer Larry Brown, the Mustangs would welcome Moreira with open arms as they head to the Big East in 2013.
"I think it goes without saying that Coach Brown has probably coached more than any other college coach there is right now. Yanick is very aware of Coach Brown's college and extensive NBA experience, that's the biggest thing that they can offer.
"Since he's been here, Yanick has been in Texas and knows people throughout the state. It's somewhat close and he's familiar with people in the region. Location-wise, SMU it wouldn't be bad."
The Baylor Bears would have a similar advantage with their campus being in Waco.
"I think Baylor has been interested in him since the spring and probably since before Coach Brown got hired at SMU. They saw him throughout the year and established a relationship with him. They've had some guys make it to the league and the Big 12 is a tremendous conference for him. Their track record speaks for themselves. He's aware of that and they've done a good job getting to know him."
Within the next week, Moreira is expected to have more of a solid idea on where he'll go from here in the recruiting process. According to Plona, he'd be surprised if the junior college standout didn't at least visit both Baylor and SMU, along with one more. Moreira is expected to have a final decision within the next few months and sign with a program in the early period.