By Xavi Sentís
Jerry Krause is the Director of Basketball Operations at Gonzaga (NCAA). This college has Europe as one of their priorities. We contacted him to talk about prospects like Przemek Karnowski or Domantas Sabonis.
-Gonzaga University has dominated the WCC conference in this century winning almost all WCC Championships and reaching a spot to play the NCAA Tournament year by year. Bulldogs have signed a lot of foreigners. Domantas Sabonis is the newcomer in this “club” of non-USA players. In Spokane it seems that they have found the way to mix different basketball cultures.
Yes. We believe the global approach to a basketball team in college works for us.
-This year it has been your 17th year in a row as a Director of Men’s Basketball Operations. In the last decade many foreigners players have been playing for your program. What do you think about this fact? Which was the real impact in the team’s game?
We think this global mix of players adds to our team, University and community.
-How do you select the foreigners pfor your program? What kind of characteristics do you prefer to select them?
Outstanding players with good English language skills who are good people, who value an education from a United States university.
-Which is the process that the university carries out until you take the decision?
We have contacts in many countries who inform us of potential players to evaluate. We then begin the long process of evaluation and recruitment.
-More and more European players coming to the NCAA to play at high level. In general, do you think they are ready to play in?
The best European players are prepared to play at some college level in the United States.
-Polish Przemek Karnowski just finished his sophomore season at Spokane. How do you think about his adaptation with US basketball style?
Especiallly with a big man, it is a long, slow process of learning and improvement. He is making steady progress and has great potential.
-Finally Domantas Sabonis has signed and will play for Bulldogs the next season. What do you think about him?
Sabonis is an outstanding prospect; a balanced player with inside and outside skills. He has the potential to have considerable impact on our team and program.
Twitter of the author: @garden7613