18-year old Jeremy Sochan has declared himself for the 2022 NBA draft following on from a very impressive freshman year at Baylor which saw them win this year's Big 12 Championships.
He was named Big 12 Sixth Man Of The Year, Big-12 All Freshman Team and All Big-12 Honourable Mention, averaging 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
The announcement came via Sochan's social media, where he posted a video with a voiceover saying:
“It’s been a ride. A journey with so many positive people by my side, but I always knew my destination. A destination where you can get lost and forgotten, but I know me and I know who is behind me. From the days in England, to playing in Poland, Germany and America, I’ve been fortunate enough to create bonds with all these coaches and teammates. All I can say is thank you, and you will always be a part of me. And with that being said, I am declaring for the 2022 NBA draft. Let’s play.”
Sochan's journey thus far has been unique to say the least. Sochan was born in the US but moved down to Southampton at the age of just 3 years old. From there he went on to Milton Keynes at the age of 7 - where he played for the Trojans until 2019. He then moved back to Southampton where he would play for the Kestrels and Itchen in the EABL.
He would then move back to the US and play at La Lumiere High School where he became nationally ranked and then proceeded to play in Germany at the Orange Academy, the development team of the Bundesliga's Ratiopharm Ulm. His reputation at Orange grew enough for Baylor's liking and from there, Sochan has showcased his versatility as a big with his ability to attack the rack of the bounce as well as being a huge presence on the defensive end.
Sochan also already has experience on the International level. With American and Polish passports, he ultimately chose to represent Poland after GB failed to sort out his passport in time. He suited up for Poland for the U16, leading them to a promotion to Division A and a Division B title along the way. He also became the youngest polish player ever to represent their men's national team with his involvement in FIBA Eurobasket Qualifiers which saw him score 18 points.
In an interview with ESPN, Sochan touched on the uniqueness of his journey and how he feels it may be a strong point for him going into the draft as a potential lottery pick: “I may be the only player in this draft who played at an American high school, in Europe versus men, and in college at the NCAA level. This experience has been extremely useful for me both on and off the court. I think my ability to work hard, learn and adapt quickly will make it easier for me to evolve.” In a time where we've seen players like Lamelo Ball, Luka Doncic and Jalen Green, take somewhat unconventional routes and have success in the league, Sochan's route in that he's already played Pro players in Germany and has already played at the International level could definitely help out his draft prospect.
For many British hoopers and hoop fans, this is a huge deal. There have been very few Brits that have successfully been able to make it to the top of the basketball mountain being the NBA, the most recent being Luol Deng. It has always seemed like a very farfetched dream for many, but with Jeremy looking to break into the league, it just shows to a lot of young kids and players coming up that it is very much possible. If Jeremy were to get drafted, it would be the first time that a Brit has been drafted into the NBA in over a decade, since Ryan Richards who was drafted in 2010.
The draft is scheduled for the 23rd of June, with the time still yet to be announced.