High-major 2021 prospect Jeremy Sochan has elected to play next season in Germany -- as opposed to returning to the United States to attend La Lumiere School in Indiana -- due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Once the pandemic started, I realized it's going to change the dynamics of a lot of things, but it wasn't until the last few weeks when I started thinking about maybe staying in Europe," Sochan told ESPN. "Now, given the COVID-19 situation seems worse in the U.S. than in Europe, I decided with my family that it's better for me to stay here to finish high school and continue my basketball development."
Sochan, a Poland native who has been with his family in the United Kingdom since the lockdown began, will play for OrangeAcademy in Ulm, Germany. OrangeAcademy plays in the second division in Germany and is a development team for the club team Ratiopharm Ulm.
"I wanted to make sure that I maintain eligibility for college, but also have the best environment to grow as a player -- and Ulm offers this," Sochan said. "It's a fantastic place with great people and coaches, who I've met a couple years ago when I visited, and we've been in touch since."
Sochan will attend the International School of Ulm and is keeping open the option of returning to the U.S. for college in 2021-22. He's not concerned about the decision adversely impacting his recruitment.
"I've been open about the situation with the coaches who contacted me, and I hope and believe they understand my decision," he said. "Also, I believe that I can only improve and become a better and more mature player next year, especially playing with players who have experienced the journey already. I think the schools recruiting me will appreciate that."
Sochan, a 6-foot-7 forward, moved to La Lumiere last fall. He became a coveted recruit following an MVP performance for Poland at the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championships, where he averaged 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.1 steals in eight games. He notched four double-doubles during that stretch, including 28 points and 12 rebounds against Bulgaria, en route to an 8-0 record and Division B title.
"It's always been a goal to play college, and I'm leaning towards college, but you never know," he said. "If a different option will benefit me more for the NBA draft, then I might have to take that other option."