VU basketball adds another player with international roots

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 8:09pm
Staff reports

Kevin Stallings returned to a recent recruiting philosophy to add to his 2010 recruiting class.

Vanderbilt’s basketball coach announced Monday that James Siakam, a 6-foot-6 forward, signed a national letter-of-intent and would join the Commodores for the 2010-11 season.

“We are very excited about adding James Siakam to our program,” Stallings said in a release announcing the signing. “James is an outstanding young man and student with tremendous potential on the court.

“His athleticism, toughness and work ethic are all things that will help James be a tremendous player here at Vanderbilt.”

Siakam is a native of Cameroon who played high school basketball in the United States – Brehm Prep in Illinois, in his case.

That makes him the latest internationally born, domestically educated member of the team. Juniors Jeffery Taylor (Sweden), Steve Tchiengang (Cameroon) and Festus Ezeli (Nigeria) all have similar backgrounds.

Siakam was scheduled to be a 2011 recruit but graduated early and made himself available this year.

See a YouTube highlight video here.

He becomes the fourth member of VU’s 2010 freshman class and – presumably – fills the scholarship that became available when center A.J. Ogilvy, a true international recruit, announced last month that he had passed on his final year of eligibility and made himself available for the NBA draft.

Siakam announced his intention to sign with Vanderbilt fewer than three weeks after Ogilvy declared for the draft.