City baller Sochan is destined for the NBA

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“I think my ability to work hard, learn and adapt quickly will make it easier for me to evolve.”

A teenager who made a name for himself in Milton Keynes could be playing basketball among the greatest players in the world next year.

Teenager Jeremy Sochan has declared for the NBA Draft after a remarkable freshman year at Baylor, the 19-year-old will forgo the remainder of his college programme to be a part of the selection process for the professional game.

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Basketball runs in his blood – his mother was a Polish basketball player who studied across the pond. Born in Oklahoma, Sochan moved to Milton Keynes when he was seven-years-old and grew up in the city, having first moved to England in Southampton.

He honed his basketball skills playing for Trojans until 2019, before moving back to Southampton for college.

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But his skills took him back to America where he took up a place at La Lumiere in Indiana, returned to Poland to play in the European before committing to play for Baylor – an NCAA Division 1 college in Texas.

Playing small forward, Sochan has already played high school ball in America, European ball in Germany for OrangeAcademy and at NCAA level, which he believes will stand him in good stead for the pro game in the States.

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“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,” he told ESPN. “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.”

His excellent record for Baylor last year also saw him named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, All-Big 12 honourable mention and Big 12 All-Freshman team.

“It’s been a ride,” he said in a video declaring himself for the draft. “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.”

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