Both members of Oregon women’s basketball’s 2017 recruiting class will move from Europe to Eugene next summer.
Earlier this month, the Ducks received a verbal comittment from Satou Sabally, a 6-foot-4 wing from Berlin, Germany to round out the program’s efforts in the 2017 class. Sabally joins fellow European recruit Aina Ayuso of Spain in the class. Both can sign a letter of intent starting Nov. 9.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to play with so many international players,” Sabally wrote in an email to the Emerald. “We all have different stories but will work hard to accomplish the same goal. Coach [Mark] Campbell and I built a close relationship and I believe that he and coach Kelly [Graves] will help me reach my full potential. I trust them a lot and had a feeling that it was the best place for me.”
By the time Sabally and Ayuso arrive on campus, the Ducks will have six international players on the roster: Megan Trinder (Australia), Maite Cazorla (Spain), Lauren Yearwood (Canada) and Morgan Yaeger (Australia).
Sabally, a 4.5-star player by ProspectsNation.com, picked the Ducks over in-state rival Oregon State. The Ducks and Beavers were the only two programs she took official visits to this summer.
Sabally was born in New York City but has played extensively for Team Germany in international play. She played in three different international competitions over recent years. Her standout performance came in the 2014 U16 European Championships, where she averaged 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds a game. She currently plays for Eisvögal USC Freiburg, which opens its season on Sept. 24.
She said it’s hard to describe just how excited she is to make the move to the NCAA level.
“Basketball in the US is totally different than here in Germany,” Sabally said. “The people, facilities and the priorities are on a different level. I hear a lot of stories of friends that play in America, and they say it’s hard but lots of fun.”
During Sabally’s official visit in Eugene in August, she was impressed with the number of staff members who are available resources to student-athletes. That enticed her even more to move away for college.
“They have people who help with your nutrition, strength and conditioning, and academics,” Sabally said. “In Europe we don’t have anything like the system in America that allows you to do school and basketball in that dimension.”
Sabally’s commitment fills the last available scholarship Oregon has for 2017. The Ducks’ 2016 class was ranked No. 3 overall by espnW, the highest ranking in school history.
Sabally said overall she’s eager for the opportunity to be a Duck.
“I was impressed by how hard all of the players work and how well they are taken care of,” Sabally said. “I understand that nothing is just falling into your hands. You have to go earn it. I know having good coaches will help make me better.”
Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne