It's always exciting when you hear rumors of an "international" player, but you have no information about him. As a Valparaiso fan growing up, with Homer and Scott Drew's international recruiting, I always loved those seven foot Lithuanian post players and the big 6' 5" shooting guards with a smooth three-point stroke. So, imagine how floored I was to hear today that Wake Forest has added one more to their 2009 basketball class...
After coming from nowhere to play on the World roster at the Nike Hoops Summit last year, Torgrim Sommerfeldt (6' 6" SG, Norway) used the game as a springboard to burst onto the international U-20 scene. He scored eight points in the game on 3/4 shooting (2-3 from beyond the arc).
Sommerfeldt talked with EuropeanProspects.com in 2008 about his experience at the Summit in Portland.
I truly want to succeed in basketball at a professional level. That is, and has been a dream of mine for many years. The Hoop Summit really got me out there competing against the best players at my age, and it was a lot of fun to see that I was able to compete against bigger names from countries with bigger basketball culture. Several schools have shown interest so that is very flattering.
It looks like Wake Forest was one of those schools. The Deacs have been well-documented in their search for a wing-shooter to fill out this class. After missing out on Brad Tinsley last year to Vanderbilt, the coaching staff has looked all over the country and seemed almost ready to pull the trigger on Skylar McBee, a SG out of Tennessee.
The staff must have made their decision today on Sommerfeldt. Of course there is always a risk in developing and bringing international players across the pond, but there is a laundry list of players who have been successful (Tim Duncan ring a bell?). If Torgrim can buy into the defensive philosophy and get better at finishing around the hoop and handling the ball, he will be a real threat on the wing.
Here are two articles about the Hoops Summit:
I'm really looking forward to the '09 class. Ari Stewart has really taken his game to the next level in his senior season and C.J. Harris looks like a real Demon Deacon. Now with Sommerfeldt rounding out the class providing a deep threat, Wake looks like they will be in good shape next season. I believe James Johnson is gone, but if Al-Farouq Aminu comes back and possibly Teague as well, the Deacs will be tough to beat in 2009.
Torgrim Sommerfeldt - Nike Hoop Summit (via SandvikaBBK)