• Andrew Jantke

2018/19 season will be the most men in history at the Division 1 NCAA level, out South Australia

Updated: Apr 13


After last year when we announced the largest ever crop of division 1 college commits out of South Australia (History made in South Australian Basketball - FOUR Athletes Commit to NCAA Div 1 Men's programs in the 2017 class) we hoped the state could back it up.

Again this year there are a total of FOUR division 1 commits again from South Australia, with THREE of the FOUR featured athletes too. The fourth, Uche Dibiamaka, played for South Australia Metro, the Sturt Sabres and Norwood Flames before heading to US High School and has been a past blogger for www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com (By Uche Dibiamaka | A journey of commitment, passion and development from Aussie pathways through to the US High School pathway).

PICTURED: Uche Dibiamaka has committed to University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for the 2018/19 season

With 9 men in total from South Australia playing division 1 college basketball next season, this collective cohort of athletes represents the largest ever group of division 1 players out of the state in history.

  • Sophomore, Isaac White at Stanford, in the Pac 12, from Sturt Sabres

  • Redshirt Freshman, Lat Mayen at TCU, in the Big 12, from Sturt Sabres

  • Sophomore, Jacob Rigoni at Quinnipiac, in the MAAC, from Sturt Sabres

  • Redshirt Freshman, Brent Hank, at Albany in the AEC, from Central Districts Lions

  • Freshman, Ben Carter, at Montana in the Big Sky, from Sturt Sabres

  • Freshman, Alex Mudronja, at St Marys in the WCC, from Sturt Sabres

  • Freshman, Owen Hulland, at Hawaii in the Big West, from Norwood Flames

  • Freshman, Uche Dibiamaka, at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in the WAC, from Norwood Flames

  • Juco transfer, Lwal Dung, at Wyoming in the Mountain West Conference

Throw in Joe Ingles’ NBA success too, and this is exciting for South Australian basketball as these athletes, and their success, help set the standard, inspire young talent coming through, and provide visibility of athletes coming through the ranks to the multi-billion dollar industry that is college basketball to levels we have not seen before. The incentives are there more than ever before if you have some talent, work incredibly hard, willing to learn and be coached, put team basketball and winning above everything you can get more opportunities than ever before.

VIDEO: This coming season an unprecedented record number of male athletes from South Australia will compete in NCAA Division 1 College basketball. Well done to these athletes, their families, coaches, supporters and all in Basketball in South Australia supporting game and athlete development. Follow these guys, their programs. They are great men. Now the only question is; WHO GOT NEXT?!?!?

In order to continue to strengthen the talent pool coming through, we also would like to offer any clubs the opportunity for us to come and speak to young athletes about Australian basketball pathways, elite college basketball, college eligibility, provide our first hand insights on the journeys of these athletes from working with them through the journey. These inspiring, informative talks would be almost identical to the talks we gave the featured athletes during their formative years. Please contact us for more information on this opportunity for your club.

PICTURED: Coach Janx at University of Oregon (one of the biggest programs in College basketball) game day preparation at one of the biggest pre-season college tournaments in history, the PK80. With first hand experience coaching and assisting significant numbers of division 1 college athletes, visiting numerous college programs and practices, regularly talking to staff at elite college programs he is keen to use these insights and knowledge to inform, educate and inspire more future talent.

We have also recently decided to shift focus to help support Female Prospects, with Hannah Hank committing to Boston College for 2019, before a change of staff saw her recently de-commit and finalise her commitment to Clemson in the ACC. Her former team and workout Coach Luke Allen has taken on the role of supporting female athletes out of South Australia and with some of the biggest names in college basketball already on our contacts list in that space we are looking forward to expanding our role there too. We have also recently welcomed Sturt Sabre and Australian National Team player, Ruby Porter, as our latest featured athlete and more to be added within weeks.

VIDEO: Featured athlete Ruby Porter is one of the best female prospects in the country for 2020.

Whilst we are currently assessing the crop of talent for 2020 we expect our 2019 prospects in Jarryd Hoppo and Anyang Garang will begin to undertake official visits soon. 2021 looks like being a big boom of talent too.

PICTURED: The Sturt Sabres team that were dominant in the 2017 Melbourne Classics, to make history in becoming national club champions in 2017. Players on this team expected to represent large numbers of our next boom of talent from South Australia.

VIDEO: Jarryd Hoppo (6'8'' Stretch 4/Wing for class of 2019), 2018 Premier League highlights, continues to rise.

VIDEO: Anyang Garang (6'9'' Wing for class of 2019), 2017 U18 National Championships highlights, has had a year to remember competing in events in the NCAA Final 4 Weekend and also NBA All Star weekend.

Here are the updates on our 3x2018 featured athletes:

Picture Source: St Mary's Gaels Twitter account.

VIDEO: Alex Mudronja at 2018 U20 National Championships where he was MVP of the tournament cementing himself as the number 1 prospect in the country for 2018.

Alex Mudronja (6'5'' Point Guard, Class of 2018) committed to Coaches Randy Bennett and Marty Clarke at St Marys in the West Coast Conference several weeks ago, as reported via Australia's FoxSports (https://goo.gl/zsk2ay).

Alex, along with his SA teammates at this level, represents the basketball excellence we will attempt to continue to uncover in future talent and youth prospects selected as Featured Athletes on www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com. Alex played club basketball at Sturt Sabres, including in 2015, teaming with Isaac White (2017 Stanford Freshman), Lat Mayen (2017 TCU Freshman), Jacob Rigoni (2017 Quinnipiac Freshman), Ben Carter (6'10'' Power Forward, Class of 2018 prospect). This team developed into one of the club top teams in Australia. Alex helped drive and lead the phenomenal talent development of his teammates in this historic team in South Australian boy's basketball, which included 5 division 1 college commits. Also in 2015 he was selected to represent Australia at the U16 FIBA Oceania Championships coached by Mark Watkins, Justin Schueller and David Ingham. This team won Gold in these championships, qualifying for the U16 World Championships. Alex was the first player out of South Australia, at the time, to represent Australia in a youth team since Daniel Carlin in 2010 (https://www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com/single-post/2016/09/01/Daniel-Carlin-Focussing-on-what-counts-in-the-game-–-some-lessons-from-the-journey-so-far | Blogs by featured athletes By Daniel Carlin | Focussing on what counts in the game – some lessons from the journey so far). In 2016 when he represented the state of South Australia at the U18 Australian national championships. He was elected team captain where he led the side to the Semi-Finals of the championships with a dominant display of silky guard talent, leadership and high basketball IQ. Watching from the crowd Joe Ingles (current player with the Utah Jazz) compared his ability to play out of pick and rolls with elite Aussie Point Guard Matthew Dellavedova (currently with Milwaukee Bucks) and we agree. His ability to play in narrow corridors, myriad of moves and skills out of pick and rolls, a combination of core strength to hold his line to squeeze out defenders, his skillset, vision and length in his position makes him a world class player in these situations. Noted for his locker room intangibles, insatiable work ethic in the gym and leadership he soon found himself moving away from home to Canberra to join Australia's fabled Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport run by Coach Adam Caporn. He played in the high-level SEABL team for this program, once again elected captain of his new program, like Dellavedova and Patty Mills before him who captained that team, he has continued to grow and develop in the high major, division 1 college-like daily training environment of the CoE. Always a winner, in January 2017 he competed again for South Australia as a bottom-aged player in a Scott Whitmore coached South Australian U20 State team (By Scott Whitmore | Our story and journey to become National Champions). As the starting Point Guard Alex joined Sturt teammates such as Ben Carter, division 1 commits Jacob Rigoni, Isaac White and also other featured athletes Brent Hank (Class of 2018, Albany Commit) and Owen Hulland (Class of 2018, Hawaii Commit) to again make history winning the National Championship gold for the first time in well over 20 years at this level. In 2017 he competed in the July AAU Adidas series with LivOn Basketball (at Adidas Summer Championships in Vegas) and Asia Pacific (at Adidas Nations in Houston), led by Coach Randy Livingston. This gave Alex a taste against many top 50 prospects across from across America, particularly the West Coast. At the Summer Championships he took his team to the Final 4 and then at Nations, the Final game vs Zion Williamson, Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky Commit), EJ Montgomery and Jordan Brown (By Alex Mudronja Q&A at Adidas Nations). With his combination of work ethic, skill set, length, strength, leadership we feel he will fit perfectly into the Gaels, continuing their dominance as the number 1 mid-major program in the United States. We also feel that Alex will emerge over his time there as one of the best guards the school has produced.

VIDEO: Owen Hulland at 2018 U20 National Championships is a highly skilled and mobile 7 footer

It is with great pleasure we announce the next division 1 college commit out of South Australia, featured athlete at www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com, Owen Hulland. As previously reported by external sources Owen has verbally committed to University of Hawaii who compete in the Big West Conference of the Division 1 NCAA. Owen had developed a great, unique skillset for his size from U12 level through to U18s, with the Norwood Basketball Club Inc. As a 7footer he can shoot the ball very well out to the 3 pt line, has good ball handling skills and great versatility in defense as well. Owen first played for South Australian in the Basketball SA state junior team at the U18 National Championships in Adelaide, Australia 2016. Here he really had a breakout tournament which put him onto our Nation's elite pathways, after a dominant national championship campaign. He was a pleasure to coach, high basketball IQ, never backing down from a challenge. He was quickly selected for the NBA Asia Pacific Basketball Without Borders camp (Blog here: https://goo.gl/D4HsHP) held in Melbourne in June 2016. Soon after that he received full scholarship to the internationally renowned Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence (CoE) program. Here he moved away from home to join the CoE on the other side of the country, to train and develop in the top program for basketball player development in the country. He was also part of the team which won the 2017 U20 Men's National Championships. The first time a South Australian had won these championshps since 1993. The team included the followingwww.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athletes: Alex Mudronja (6'5'' PG, 2018 Prospect), Ben Carter (6'10'' PF, 2018 Prospect), Brent Hank (6'10'' Power Forward, 2017 Commit, University of Albany), Owen Hulland (7' Stretch 4, 2018 prospect), Jacob Rigoni (6'6'' Wing, 2017 Commit, Quinnipiac University), Isaac White (6'1'' PG, 2017 Commit, Stanford) Coach Eran Ganot has signed a number of tall recruits in the 2018 class and we feel this will be a great opportunity for Owen to continue to develop his perimeter game, making him a unique prospect for high level professional leagues, right up to the NBA, in the future. We wish Coach Ganot, Owen and the entire University of Hawaii basketball program all the best for future success.

VIDEO: Ben Carter at 2018 U20 National Championships is a skilled, powerful bigman who can score all over the floor.

This month www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athlete, 6'10'' Power Forward Ben Carter committed to the University of Montana in the Big Sky Conference. Ben is one of the nation's best big men in the 2018 class. He has played on winning teams throughout his junior career at club and state level; Over the past 2 years he has won gold and silver, playing U20 national championships, coached by Scott Whitmore (blog here: Our story and journey to become National Champions https://bit.ly/2sGmVVu) and Paul Rigoni respectively. Prior to that he competed in one of the most successful TeamLivon Asia Pacific teams in history at the Adidas Summer Championships, in Las Vegas, with Randy Livingston (Q&A with Randy Livingston, leader of Team Asia Pacific at Adidas Summer Championships and Nations). He came through the Sturt Sabres junior program, a program widely known as the top club program in the country for male youth player development, playing in teams with guys like Alex Mudronja (St Marys), Isaac White (Stanford), Lat Mayen (TCU), Jacob Rigoni (Quinnipiac), Uche Dibiamaka (UTRGV). In 2015 he competed on a Sturt that included 5 players that went on to Division 1 college basketball, going 50-3 for the year, as one of the best teams in the country. A year later he played in Liam Flynn Coached Sturt team, winning a Silver medal at the prestigious National tournament, the Melbourne Classics. Having coached Ben at Sturt, in the U18 SA Metro program and state's high-performance program (NITP) I can say that U of Montana are getting a proven winner. A young man that plays with a combination of physical toughness and basketball IQ I have not seen, finds ways to keep scores ticking over, be it helping others getting open, or scoring himself, makes buckets come easy for himself and his teammates. He can score all over the floor as a pick and dive or pick and pop big man. He is a physically tough defender, able to take space up around the rim, change shots, also moves well laterally, able to show and recover in ball screen defense. He is very coachable and determined to keep getting better as an athlete. Coach Decuire and Coach Cobb of the Montana Grizzlies know how to talent ID good Aussies for their program with Fabijan Krslovic, from Australia, having had a great career with the Grizz. He was a 4 year starter, able to get them to the NCAA tournament in his Senior year. Ben is a proven winner, joining a winning program. Coach Cobb told us this about Ben and his new program; "We are very happy for the addition of Ben to our basketball program and family. He is not only a good basketball player, but fits our mission of bringing high character student-athletes who care about their degree. Ben is a great fit in our system and look forward to seeing the development over the next few years!"


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