Being nationally ranked in the US before returning to Europe & committing to Baylor - with Jeremy Sochan - Ep. 79 -

Being nationally ranked in the US before returning to Europe & committing to Baylor – with Jeremy Sochan – Ep. 79

In Episode 79 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with one of the most highly regarded UK prospects, 2003 born and Class of 2021’s Jeremy Sochan.

The former Solent Kestrel departed the UK ahead of the 2019-20 season to head to powerhouse high school La Lumiere in Indiana, drawing attention and being ranked as high as in the forties by national ranking outlets, before returning to Europe this year and signing with OrangeAcademy – the feeder team of ratiopharm Ulm in Germany.

Sochan – who has both Polish and American passports but was raised in the UK – ultimately ended up representing Poland in international competition, having suited up for the Under-16s in 2018 and 2019, leading them to Division A promotion last year whilst picking up the Division B European Championship MVP.

The 6’8″ wing committed to NCAA Division 1 powerhouse Baylor this off-season, having just impressed in his German Pro-B debut this past weekend.

Time stamps:

00:00 Intro
02:29 Beginning of interview
03:02 How he first picked up a ball
05:10 His parents basketball background
06:01 Memories of watching his dad play for Bristol Flyers
06:40 Whether his parents – both former players – encouraged him to play
07:14 The point he realised he was pretty decent as a player
07:40 His first appearance on Hoopsfix
08:28 When his growth spurt happened
08:50 Playing in conference national league in Milton Keynes
09:19 Being coached by his mum
10:00 Making the decision to leave Milton Keynes to go to Southampton in Year 11 and play for Solent
11:38 The European clubs that came recruiting him from a young age in the UK
12:17 Why he chose Solent instead of another program
13:14 What the initial plan was when he went back to Southampton
13:15 Whether his eyes were always on going overseas
14:16 Going from playing in conference competitions to NBL D1 Men’s and EABL
15:11 Why he wanted to overseas and leave the UK
15:47 Why he ended up representing Poland and not Great Britain at the European Championships
18:05 The conversations with GB about choosing Poland
19:03 GB will regret not sorting Sochan’s passport
19:14 Playing against GB in the Europeans
19:50 Not playing with his friends for Poland in the same way as it would have been for GB
20:20 His first summer at the Europeans in 2018 with Poland
21:16 Learning his role with Poland and getting used to fluctuating minutes
22:26 What the year in Southampton did with Solent did for his development
23:38 Single biggest thing he took from his time with Solent
24:26 Whether he’s a player who rises to the occasion
24:52 His 31 point, 15 rebound performance in the EABL as a 15 year old vs Barking Abbey
26:44 His dunk and trash talking
27:53 Whether he felt other teams were zoning in on him
28:25 Whether British basketball has a lot of haters
29:35 Whether a lot of younger players message him
30:11 The decision to go to La Lumiere High School
31:48 Whether he made the decision before the Europeans
32:17 Winning the MVP and leading Poland to Division A promotion at the 2019 Europeans
33:17 Whether he can speak Polish
33:45 The point at which colleges started recruiting him
34:53 Was it a big deal to start getting college offers
35:56 What has kept him grounded
37:02 Being well travelled
37:40 Why he wanted to go to La Lumiere
38:21 How the American High School system works
40:16 Players that he played against
41:04 The transition from the UK to the US
42:19 The level of athleticism in the US
43:27 The level of high school basketball in the US
44:01 Whether La Lumiere lived up to his expectations
45:00 Whether High School basketball increased his confidence
45:55 How he felt about the level of attention he started getting
46:53 Whether colleges recruiting him became overwhelming
48:02 How he feels about individual player rankings in the US
50:39 Whether he used rankings as a motivating factor
51:40 How high his ceiling is and how good he thinks he could be
52:26 Never getting to compete in the Geico Nationals due to COVID-19
53:08 COVID-19 taking away a bunch of opportunities in the summer for his exposure
54:50 Why he committed to Baylor so early
55:53 Having to play out of position at La Lumiere
58:29 Whether he’s been on any physical visits to schools because of COVID-19
59:31 Zoom tours and COVID-19 proof recruitment techniques
1:00:10 The best thing that happened whilst being recruited
1:01:31 What it was about Baylor that made him want to go there
1:03:04 What he is most looking forward to about going to Baylor
1:03:53 How much he is contact with Baylor now
1:04:34 COVID-19 hitting and when he got back to the UK
1:06:06 How he decided to sign in Europe this season and return from the US
1:08:55 What ratiopharm ulm said to make him sign with them
1:11:03 His typical daily schedule in Germany
1:11:57 What he’s doing for education
1:13:07 How far into the season he is so far
1:14:09 His living arrangements in Germany
1:14:22 His schedule for season
1:15:21 His plans for next summer
1:17:22 Other top players of his generation
1:18:31 Whether he follows British basketball when he is overseas
1:19:06 Whether he thinks it could be an option to leave college early and declare for the NBA

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