Top International Basketball Prospect Henri Veesaar Commits to Arizona

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

VALENCIA, SPAIN - JUNE 06: Henri Veesaar, #13 of U18 Real Madrid in action during the Adidas Next Generation Tournament Championship Game between U18 Real Madrid v U18 FC Barcelona at La Fonteta on June 06, 2021 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats landed a major recruit in the 2022 class Wednesday.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported Henri Veesaar, who is from Estonia and "considered arguably the most promising European prospect" in this class, has joined the Wildcats.

"I believe in [Coach] Tommy Lloyd's philosophy and how he coaches," Veesaar said. "I've had my eyes on playing college basketball for some time now, and I believe that Arizona is a great fit to make a jump between youth and professional sport."

Givony noted the 7'0" big man first made waves as a 15-year-old at the FIBA U16 European Championship, played for Real Madrid's junior program and represented the Estonian senior national team as a 17-year-old.

Veesaar averaged 16.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and 2.6 assists per game during last summer's FIBA U18 European Challengers.

He can protect the rim and control the boards on the defensive side while able to work in pick-and-pops and pick-and-rolls as a versatile shooter who is athletic enough to finish lobs.

Arizona is likely losing Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry and Christian Koloko to the draft, so Veesaar could compete with Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis for playing time in the frontcourt.

He will also be one of eight international players on the Wildcats during the 2022-23 campaign, which seemed to play a factor in his decision.

"It helps to fit on the team not being the only foreigner and the play style is different because they are used to having different players from different continents," he said. "The basketball background varies a lot depending on where you grow up, so I think they have a nice mixture from different cultures."

He joins an Arizona program coming off a 33-4 season that included Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles. Yet it will be looking to take the next step in the NCAA tournament after losing in the Sweet 16 to Houston.

Veesaar has the skill set to help the Wildcats do just that.