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Seattle U. goes for British big man

Cameron Dollar

Seattle coach Cameron Dollar reacts to a play against Virginia during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Key Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, in Seattle. Virginia defeated Seattle, 83-77. (AP Photo/Joe Nicholson)


With the London Olympics coming up, the state of British basketball is a subject of some interest. British players haven’t been the most frequent of DI contributors, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been absent. Former Duke Blue Devil and current Chicago Bull Luol Deng, who is expected to play for England in the 2012 Summer Games, is probably the most notable current player, but the likes of Eric Boateng, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and a handful of others have bolstered the reputation of British hoops in the U.S.

The latest import from the UK is 6'9" big man Jack Crook, who signed with Cameron Dollar of Seattle. Dollar did a good job of making Crook feel wanted, according to the British basketball site

The 6’9″ forward has accepted a four-year scholarship to Seattle, whose coaching staff were in Cherbourg at Easter scouting him as he played for Manchester.

“The high academics, and the effort they made to come and see my family, but also the fact they are going into the WAC and are going to have the most competitive schedule. I also think that’s where I’ll have the chance to improve the most.

“(I’m looking forward to) just getting to go against bigger stronger guys week in week out.”

British players are still considered projects by most coaches, so mid-majors tend to take chances on developing them, more so than BCS-level schools. Crook’s height gives him an immediate chance to make an impact, and he flashed tantalizing glimpses of his potential in the recent European Championships. He’ll likely need a redshirt season to get stronger and learn the stateside game, but he could be a major piece for the up-and-coming Redhawks in the future.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He likes to crack wise and talk college hoops @stfhoops on Twitter.