FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
CATCH UP ON STORIES DURING THE COUNTDOWN IF YOU MISSED IT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]
Serbian Dusan Ristic, a sophomore with a world of promise, follows a short list of international players who have signed with Arizona through the years.
The list will grow to 12 next season when Finnish standout forward Lauri Markkanen will join the program. He verbally committed to Arizona earlier this month.
Lute Olson signed nine international players during his tenure. The list:
CLICK ON THE NEXT ARROW AT THE UPPER OR LOWER RIGHT TO CONTINUE ON IN THE SLIDESHOW
— Marty Bartmentloo, F, Australia
— Daniel Dillon, G, Australia
— Robertas Javtokas, F, Lithuania
— Emmanuel Negedu, F, Nigeria
— Chukwuma Charles Okwandu, C, Nigeria
— Ivan Radenovic, F, Serbia
— Mohamed Tangara, F, Mali
— Orlando Vega, G, Puerto Rico
— Jesus Verdejo, G, Puerto Rico
Miller has signed one other international player other than Ristic:
— Kyryl Natyazhko, F, Ukraine
Out of the 10 international players signed by Arizona before Ristic, only two — Dillon and Radenovic — played through their senior seasons. Tangara, overcoming back problems early in his career, stuck it out before transferring to Division II Chaminade his senior season.
[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
— AZ Desert Swarm (@azdesertswarm) October 30, 2015
Three of them — Negedu, Okwandu and Vega — never played at Arizona. Okwandu and Vega were never cleared to play. Negedu asked out of his letter-of-intent during the Olson leave-of-absence saga.
Bartmentloo and Javtokas bolted back to their native countries within their freshman seasons. Verdejo, who many forget scored 27 points in the 2004 Red-Blue Game, transferred to South Florida after his freshman year.
OLHO NO FINLANDÊS! Lauri Markannen de apenas 18 anos de idade está atraindo olhares de Utah, UNC e Arizona! pic.twitter.com/rjYzzN578V
— College BasketballBR (@CBasketballBR) October 18, 2015
Natyazhko returned to his native country to play professionally after lettering three years with the Wildcats. He eventually earned his undergrad degree at Arizona by taking courses online from overseas.
The average years international players have stayed with Arizona (pre-Ristic): 1.6 years. When Ristic completes his sophomore year this season, he’ll pass that mark but how much longer he stays after that is a question mark.
Markkanen’s journey to Tucson might also be short-lived. Many scouting analysts believe he is a potential one-and-done player to the pros.