Aug. 13, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. - With a pair of New York big men already signed for the upcoming 2014-15 season, St. John's head coach Steve Lavin went abroad and added more size to the roster with the signing of 6-9 Bosnian forward Amar Alibegovic.
"We are pleased that Amar has chosen to join our St. John's basketball family," said Lavin. "Amar has the skill, size and basketball intellect to help fuel our purposes as we continue to build our program into a sustainable winner."
Ranked as the No. 41 prospect of his age in Europe, Alibegovic helped Bosnia and Herzegovina post a perfect 8-0 mark to sweep the field and win the U20 European Championship Division B in mid-July. The forward had three double-figure scoring games and averaged 5.1 points to go with 2.8 rebounds in the tournament. Alibegovic also shot 54.8 percent from the floor, including a 35.3 percent clip from long range. Earlier in July, Alibegovic had been named to the preliminary 23-man roster for the Senior National Team.
The forward, who was born in Oregon, has also played in Italy with the Stella Azzurra junior squad. Alibegovic averaged 6.0 points and 3.3 boards, while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor during his stint with the Italian team.
Alibegovic is the son of former Oregon State basketball standout Teo Alibegovic, who joined Gary Payton in guiding the Beavers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1988-89 and 1989-90. The elder Alibegovic averaged 18.1 points per game as a senior and earned All-Pac 12 honors.
The recruiting class for the upcoming season already includes 6-11 Christ The King star Adonis Delarosa (Middle Village, N.Y.) and 6-8 NJCAA All-American Keith Thomas (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) out of Westchester Community College. The 2013-14 New York Daily News Queens Player of the Year, Delarosa also garnered first team All-City and first team All-Queens honors from the Daily News this past season after averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas, meanwhile, led all Division I junior college players with 15.7 rebounds per game and added 15.3 points per contest to earn NJCAA Region VX Player of the Year and first team All-Region XV accolades.
Lavin's recruiting efforts at St. John's have been highlighted by the No. 3 nationally-ranked Class of 2011 and the No. 8 Class of 2012 as well as a pair of BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honorees in JaKarr Sampson (2013) and Maurice Harkless (2012). St. John's had just one available scholarship for the 2013 recruiting class and Lavin reeled in the highest-ranked prospect of his Red Storm tenure in Rysheed Jordan, who ranked No. 22 in the ESPN 100.