Fred Hoiberg got some good news on Sunday when French power forward Yvan Ouedraogo announced his commitment to the Huskers.
I am proud and excited to announce I will be joining the @HuskerHoops program and coach Hoiberg this coming Fall. Looking forward to step foot on campus in Lincoln and get to work. #GBR 🌽 pic.twitter.com/Oizw9jGOcl
— Yvan Ouedraogo (@Yvanouedball) May 12, 2019
At 17 years old, Ouedraogo is one of the youngest players in the 2019 class. He’s a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward originally from Bordeaux who is playing at the INSEP Academy in Paris.
Ouedraogo averaged 12.7 points on 44.6-percent shooting from the field and 60.8 percent from the free-throw line and 9.7 rebounds while playing for France at the 2018 FIBA U16 European Championship last summer. Ouedraogo recorded three double-digit rebounding games and two double-doubles. His best game came in the quarterfinals where he put up 23 points on 7-of-15 from the field and 9-of-13 from the line, 15 rebounds (eight offensive) and three assists.
Ouedraogo played club for Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball this past season, averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game, shooting 48 percent from the field including 3-of-5 from 3 and 44.2 percent from the foul line.
Ouedraogo visited Nebraska in late April and narrowed his list to Nebraska, TCU and Georgia Tech soon after. Ouedraogo tweeted on Saturday morning that he planned to announce his decision on Sunday at 7 p.m. local time (12 p.m. Central) and later in the day, ESPN NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony reported that Ouedraogo would be choosing the Huskers.
Ouedraogo will play out his entire freshman season at Nebraska as a 17-year old after skipping a grade in elementary school, but will likely push for immediate playing time in the Big 10 thanks to his chiseled 240-pound frame, high intensity level and strong rebounding prowess.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 11, 2019
As Givony said, Ouedraogo’s size and ability to rebound should give him a chance to make an immediate impact despite his age.
Ouedraogo joins Akol Arop as members of Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class with four years of eligibility. The Huskers have also secured commitments from grad transfers Haanif Cheatham and Matej Kavas, junior college guards Jervay Green and Cam Mack and sit-out transfer Dalano Banton. Shamiel Stevenson, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound forward from Nevada, announced he was transferring to Nebraska on Friday.
Nebraska now has players from Canada (Banton and Stevenson), Slovenia (Kavas), Iceland (Thorir Thorbjarnarson) and France set to be on the roster for 2019-20.
The Huskers have two scholarships remaining pending Isaiah Roby’s NBA Draft decision.
Update: Nebraska made the news officially official on Monday. Ouedraogo has officially signed with the Huskers.
“The first thing you notice about Yvan is his size and physicality, especially for just turning 17 in March,” Coach Frew Hoiberg said in a release. “He gives us an immediate physical presence which was a priority for us. He has unbelievable upside and is someone we think can develop and flourish in our system.”
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.