FIBA U16 standout Jeremy Sochan commits to Baylor

Jeremy Sochan, gold medalist and MVP of last summer's FIBA U16 European Championship B, has committed to Baylor, he told ESPN Thursday.

The 17-year-old is considered one of the top international prospects committing to the college route, joining Baylor next summer as part of their 2021 recruiting class.

"I really appreciate how much time the coaches at Baylor invested in getting to know me and building a relationship with my family," Sochan said. "This helps us understand each other better, and as they've been so successful, I hope I can bring even more success to Baylor from 2021."

At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan, Sochan led the U16 Bs in Player Efficiency Rating by averaging 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.5 blocks in 27 minutes per game playing for Poland.

Born to an American father and Polish mother in Oklahoma, Sochan moved to England at a young age, where he spent the majority of his life. Both of Sochan's parents played college basketball in the state of Oklahoma, and he spent last season at La Lumiere School in Indiana. He received scholarship offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Arizona Florida State, Virginia, Creighton, Vanderbilt, Xavier and others.

"It's always been my dream to play basketball in college, but it's as important to have a plan for when basketball stops. I want to play professionally and have a long career, and studying at Baylor can help me be successful both on and off the court."

Sochan returned to England at the onset of the pandemic and will spend his final year of high school in Germany with Ratiopharm Ulm's junior program, Orange Academy.

"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's Jeff Borzello last week. "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."

Baylor has had considerable success with prospects in Sochan's mold over the years, developing hard-nosed, versatile forwards such as Taurean Prince and Royce O'Neal into longtime NBA players. Sochan's length and instincts allow him to make an impact defending perimeter and interior players alike, and his passing ability should prove very useful in Scott Drew's half-court offense. Should Sochan's outside shooting continue to evolve, he could end up emerging as a legitimate NBA prospect over time.

"The coaches spent a long time talking to me about my role and how they see me fit into their team and roster," Sochan said. "They also spoke to my previous coaches to learn how to get the best out of me. I think Baylor's team mentality fits me, and I think with hard work I can make a positive impact straight away."

"Baylor has a great record of developing players, making them better every day. That's exactly what I want, and I believe I can really develop my own game with their help, and become the best I can be."