UND men's basketball continues European trend with two international additions
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota men's basketball program has started to test the international waters by announcing on Thursday, July 19, the addition of two foreign players to the roster for the 2018-19 season, including the son of a former NBA player.
UND has added Davids Atelbauers and Filip Rebraca, resulting in three European additions during this off season. They join France's Marko Coudreau who signed in May.
"Both of these young men bring the character, competitiveness and skill sets that we need to add to our locker room and have been competing at high levels over in Europe for many years," UND men's basketball coach Brian Jones said.
Atelbauers, a 6-foot-1 guard, played for the Latvia Youth National Team and led that squad in scoring three different seasons. A native of Ogre, Latvia, Atelbauers was a five-time Latvian Youth Basketball League All-Star and has played several seasons for BK Ogre.
"Davids is a hard-nosed point guard who will do whatever it takes to help his team win. He has a great first step, which allows him to make plays at the rim," Jones said. "Our fans will love his unselfishness and toughness that he brings to the floor."
A native of Sombor, Serbia, Rebraca spent this past season at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., where he was named the Dale Lash Team MVP (Easthampton, Mass.) and earned Class A All-NEPSAC accolades. The 6-foot-9 center is the son of Zeljko Rebraca, who played for three teams in the NBA (Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers) from 2001-06.
"Filip will bolster our depth at the forward position. He has a tremendous motor and explosiveness off the floor," Jones said. "His ability to play above the rim on both ends of the floor will excite both his teammates and our fans. He's been around high levels of basketball his entire life, and those experiences have certainly had an impact on his development as a player."
Atelbauers and Rebraca join a list of six other newcomers UND has added this offseason for the 2018-19 roster.
The large recruiting class was necessary after a string of transfers, including the high-profile exit of graduate transfer Geno Crandall, who will attend Gonzaga. The Hawks also lost junior college transfer Jaqwan McCauley, who was injured early last season and has been ruled medically disqualified.
Former UND star signs in France
Former UND guard Quinton Hooker has signed a professional contract to play in France.
Hooker's new team is J.A. Vichy-Clermont Metropole.
Hooker, who led UND to the program's first NCAA tournament appearance in the 2016-17 season, played last year in Poland.
In Poland, Hooker led his team in a number of categories, including scoring (15 points per game), assists (5.0) and steals (1.5). He was second on the team in rebounds with 4.7.
The Brooklyn Park, Minn., native is UND's sixth all-time leading scorer.
Report says UND closing in on hire
HoopDirt, a popular website that follows basketball coaching transactions, is reporting UND is close to hiring Nate Kaeding as director of basketball operations.
Kaeding, a Fargo native and University of Mary graduate, has been with the University of Sioux Falls as an assistant coach for the past six seasons.
Kaeding takes over for Craig Heatherly, who was promoted to assistant coach this off-season.