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AUGUSTANA BASKETBALL: Recruiting class has international flavor | College Sports

Tom Jessee insists there was no grand plan on his part to have such an international flair to the 2022 Augustana College men’s basketball recruiting class, which includes Rockridge High School all-stater Nate Henry.

However, three foreign student-athletes — two Spaniards and one from Portugal — are part of this year’s eight-player class that includes seven freshmen and a sophomore college transfer.

“It starts with the college as a whole making a push with the international students,” said Jessee, whose club just returned from a 3-1 trip to Greece with its returning players. “We’ve got a really good admissions counselor in charge of our international recruitment, and she’s made a few contacts.”

So did Viking assistant coach Alex Washington when he spent two years in Portugal working with American schools there and serving as a basketball coordinator. According to Jessee, those contacts helped land Bryan Teo, a 6-foot guard who was captain of the Singapore National Youth Team and who has major international experience.

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“The idea of ​​bringing in three foreign players is a really neat thing for the roster and the guys that are already here,” said Jessee, the long-time Viking assistant preparing for his second year as head coach. “All three of them are terrific kids that kind of fit the mold.”

It just so happens that the two Spaniards — Dani Romero Rueda (6-3, 170) and Nico Delgado Rodriguez (6-2, 170) — are also point guards and could help fill a void in the backcourt with the recent graduation of ball -handler Luke Johnson.

Of the eight new additions, five are guards. Also in that group are 5-10 point guards Evan Ambrose and Owen Schneider. Ambrose is a Stevenson High School prep from Cary, Ill., who last season helped McHenry County College win its first conference championship in over 15 years as a starter in all 28 games. Schneider, a Prospect High School grad from Arlington Heights, set the school’s single-season record for steals (65). He also earned all-state recognition and was listed among the Chicago Sun Times’ top 50 players in the Chicagoland area.

“This group really complements the group that came in last year; we had a really good freshman group this past year that are going to be sophomores,” Jessee said. “… I think we’re a little thin at the point guard position and these guys add depth and competition at that position.”

Adding to what Jessee called a “unique class” is Dayne Wojcik, a 6-5, 215-pound front-liner.

“We got our first kid in the program from the state of Minnesota, which is also important,” said Jessee, who also added 6-4 wing Charlie Nosek from Matea Valley High School. “There’s really good basketball in that state and I feel good about Dayne Wojcik coming in.

“He’s the one post player who is kind of an old-school, traditional post guy that I’m really intrigued by.”

And, of course, there is Henry, the 6-3, 200-pound forward who earned multiple all-state honors and was named the Quad-Cities All-Western Illinois Player of the Year.

“Anytime we get a local Quad-City guy that can really play, it is an awesome, awesome thing,” Jessee said. “Really excited about Nate staying home in the Quad-Cities and being hopefully the next great local player for us.”

This group joins a dozen returners, led by first-team All-CCIW selection Dan Carr, from last season’s varsity club that posted an 11-15 record and went 6-10 in the CCIW, making the CCIW Tournament for the 17th straight year.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Jessee said.


Evan Ambrose (5-10, 155-pound, G, Cary, Ill.,/McHenry County College): Joins the Vikings after his freshman year playing junior-college ball where he helped lead the MCC Scots to their first conference championship in over 15 years. Ambrose played and started all 28 games last season, averaging just over eight points per contest on 43% shooting. He hit 37% of his 3-point attempts and contributed four assists per contest as well. He had a season-high of 28 points and scored double figures 10 times. He was named all-conference honorable mention. Ambrose played his high school ball at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Nate Henry (6-3, 200-pound, F, Rockridge HS): Henry racked up a list of awards during his time with the Rockets, earning AP All-State, Chicago Sun Times First-Team, ICBA First-Team, and Dispatch-Argus Area Player of the Year honors. Henry eclipsed 1,000 career points during the 2021-22 season and helped lead his team to a 2A state semifinal appearance.

Charlie Nosek (6-4, 175-pound, Wing, Metea Valley HS): During his time there he was honorable mention all-conference, honorable mention all-area, a two-year varsity starter, and a team captain. He and his sister and brother have been playing basketball their entire life.

Nico Delgado Rodriguez (6-2, 170-pound, PG, Las Rozas, Madrid, Spain): He played basketball at Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby, Ohio. He has been in the United States for two years and started for the varsity team at Andrews both years. His primary position is point guard, but has spent time at the wing positions as well. Rodriguez was a GCBCA All-Star Game nominee in Cleveland and was named to the News Herald Honor Roll. In Spain, he took part in multiple Madrid Selection Camps.

Dani Romero Rueda (6-3, 170-pound, G, Malaga, Spain): He played basketball at EBG Malaga and was recently a part of a team in the U18 Malaga League where helped lead his squad to a third-place finish. Rueda also competed in Malaga’s Federation Cup, which resulted in a first-place finish for his team. In 2018-19, he competed in the same two leagues at U16, also helping earn third- and first-place standings.

Owen Schneider (5-10, 150-pound, G, Prospect HS in Arlington Heights): He set the single-season record for most steals in a season with 65. During his time at Prospect, he accumulated various accolades, including all-state, all-area, and allconference honors. He was named to the all-tournament team for the Hardwood Classic this past year and appeared on the top 50 player list in the Chicagoland area by the Chicago Sun Times. Schneider was a three-year varsity starter and two-year team captain for Prospect.

Bryan Teo (6-0, 165-pound, G, Raffles Institution, Singapore): He was the captain of the Singapore National Youth Team and competed in the U16 SEABA Championships (FIBA Asia) in Manilla, Phillipines. He also represented Singapore in the U18 ASEAN School Games held in Cyberjaya, Malaysia and helped lead his team to a top-four finish.

Dayne Wojcik (6-5, 215-pound, F, Goodhue, Minn.): During his playing days with the Wildcats, Wojcik earned team MVP twice, while also securing all-conference two times as well. The 1,000-point scorer was named allstate, republican eagle first-team, and the senior section of the year in 2021-22.