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Utah State basketball has a late addition to its incoming recruiting class: Viko Noma'aea, a 20-year-old point guard whom the Aggies hope can add some scoring and composure in the backcourt.
Noma'aea graduated from Sierra Vista High (Las Vegas, Nev.) in 2011, and has spent the last two years working for his parents and serving an LDS mission in Paris. He was only back a few weeks when he decided committing to Utah State would be the best choice for continuing his basketball career.
"I want to do what I love, and it was a tough decision to go [on a mission] in the first place," he said. "But I trusted that everything would take care of itself. I'm very happy and excited to be going to Utah State."
Noma'aea had interest from Utah, BYU and UNLV among others before leaving on his mission. When he got back, he said BYU wanted him to visit and see him play before offering him a scholarship.
The Aggies wanted him more, he said. And that was a big reason he decided to commit.
"They said they watched my tapes, and that they needed me," Noma'aea said. "They said, 'You are that missing piece. Your demeanor, your leadership. We want you to play your game.' They showed me a lot of love."
Noma'aea, now about 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, averaged approximately 20 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists as a senior. His highlight tape shows a crafty scorer with who is confident with his shot. He can also dish, which could bolster the point guard position with Marcel Davis and TeNale Roland. Noma'aea, however, does have experience at both guard spots.
He acknowledged he's getting back in the gym and trying to get his game back to where it was before his mission, but said recently as he's been playing it feels like "the training wheels have come off." He added that he hopes to work on his strength.
Noma'aea is expected to sign a letter of intent no later than Monday. He'll be the fifth member of the incoming class, along with Jalen Moore, Carson Shanks, Kyle Davis and Jojo McGlaston (who will sign this week).
A Las Vegas native who is friends with Shabazz Muhammad and other local hoops stars, Noma'aea said he's especially excited for the prospect of playing UNLV in the Mountain West.
"When I heard that, I leaped for joy," he said. "It's definitely something I'm going to be working for."
Kyle Goonkylegoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon