By Tim Stevens
N.C. State’s newest basketball recruit says he has never played a game in the United States but he already knows about Atlantic Coast Conference basketball.
Jordan Vandenberg is a native of Australia, grew up in Melbourne and his only experience playing in the U.S. is open gyms at the University of Nevada Reno and at Boise State.
But the 7-foot, 235-pound center knows about college basketball.
“[The ACC] is said to be the hardest competition in college basketball and it is always fierce, fast and strong,” Vandenberg said via email.
The opportunity to play in the league is one of the things that made State attractive to him, he said.
But to play in the ACC, Vandenberg knows he needs to gain weight. He hopes to be able to contribute next season.
“I bring length so I would be able to change shots and rebound most importantly,” he said.
“I know I will be playing limited minutes until I can fully hold my own physically,” he said.
Vandenberg chose State over Utah Valley, Boise State and Nevada-Reno.
State assistant coach Pete Strickland spotted Vandenberg during the center’s one year at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Vandenberg said he admires the play of fellow Australian 7-foot, 260-pound Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks, a former Utah star, and 7-foot, 250-pound Paul Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, who is a native of Spain.
“I admire most Pau Gasol and Andrew Bogut,” he said. “Theyare very skilled and versatile big men.”
Vandenberg is State’s fifth basketball recruit in the Class of 2009.
State also has signed 6-6 forward Josh Davis of Raleigh Athens Drive, 6-5 guard Lorenzo Brown of Roswell (Ga.) Centennial, 6-5 guard Scott Wood of Marion, Ind., and 6-7 forward Richard Howell of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
By Tim Stevens