By Albert Robledillo
Despite of his young age, Jeremy Sochan (Oklahoma, USA, 2003) has had to make a lot of decisions through his life. Moving to the States, choosing a country to represent, going back to Europe or committing to a college are not choices easy to make while trying to pursue a career at the highest level possible. All this experiences, alongside his basketball talents, are helping him to reach that level since he is one of the most promising players of his generation.
It has been some time you didn’t play international competition in Europe. How was going back at it in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament?
It was great. We played very good at the tournament, especially considering that we only had two weeks of preparation. But the way we played against high level international players, the best teams in Europe, it was great. Actually, we got Barcelona until they ran into the zone defense which we didn't have time to prepare for the tournament. That was a shame but at the same it was great to compete at that level.
You had a very good performance, named to the All-Tournament Team…
I had a pretty good tournament. It’s an honor to be valued as one of the best players in this tournament. Of course, there are many things to improve but it was great.
You are in Ulm for a few months but you seemed very integrated into the team…
There are always ups and downs but the place is great, the coaches are really helpful and it’s great to be in Ulm. I am pretty easy guy to deal with, I always try to bring positive energy to the team.
Why did you decide to leave La Lumiere (IN) and to go to Ulm?
Because of the pandemic. My family and I decided that it was better to go back to Europe since America was not in a good situation with the virus. So I am blessed to have had the chance to choose among a few clubs in Europe. I've had a long relationship with the sports director at Ulm because we were in touch even before going to America, so we felt the place fit me well. Also, they allowed me to keep my eligibility for the NCAA and they helped me a lot in this regard.
How did moving to the States help you to improve your game?
I’ve been playing for so long, I’ve had many people around me involved in basketball and I took the game from all the different coaches I’ve had. Playing international competition, in different countries and also being in America have helped me a lot.
You also decided to represent Poland over Great Britain…
It was a hot decision. I think the organization and the opportunities in camps, practices and games that Poland gives me are greater than the Great Britain. In the Great Britain I have many friends, but most of my family is from Poland so that was one of the reasons.
Among all the big schools, you picked Baylor...
It was also stressful, especially with the pandemic, having many calls and feedback from many college coaches. But at the same time it was a great experience. Since the 2019 U16 FIBA European Tournament Division B, I went all through this process but Baylor came out on top. It was about everything, they are like a family, the way they play and all the things they do on and off the court. Coaches there also built a great relationship with my parents.
What do you think you need to improve in order to be productive for one of the best teams in college basketball?
I need to improve everything but I think I have to focus on the consistency of my shot, also being quicker with my feet and handling the ball. I need to improve a little bit physically because the Big 12 is a very physical league but I am really excited to show my talents there.
Where do you see yourself playing after college?
Of course my dream is to play in the NBA and I believe I have a good chance to make it if I work hard and if I have the correct mentality. But if it can’t be possible, playing the Euroleague, the best competition in Europe, would be really good.
Scout's take - What will he bring to Baylor?
Sochan showed in Valencia a tremendous versatility. He can defend four positions, is great on the boards and never misses a rotation. In offense, he is fluid, can face the basket and is a good passer on the move. He also needs to improve his shot but I am not concerned since he shows a soft touch in different situations.