Sam Dower, a 6-foot-9 senior forward from Osseo, Minn., has committed to play basketball for Gonzaga.

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Sam Dower, a 6-foot-9 senior forward from Osseo, Minn., has given Gonzaga a verbal commitment for its basketball recruiting class of 2009.

Gonzaga watched Dower through the AAU summer recruiting period and won a battle against Minnesota, California, Marquette and George Mason. He is considered a late bloomer who averaged 13 points for his high school team as a junior, then 22 points over the summer for his AAU team.

The Zags lost an earlier commitment from Brock Osweiler of Kalispell, Mont. Osweiler had become Gonzaga’s earliest committed player in history, accepting a scholarship offer in the spring of 2006 — the end of his freshman year.

But Osweiler, a 6-8 player also recruited in football, had a change of heart in the spring and decided to opt for a football scholarship at Arizona State. His father, John Osweiler, said his son had a weekend in the Dallas area in which he attended a prestigious football camp and an AAU basketball tournament, and “it ended up being what he loved the most, and that was football.”

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