Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner has his first commitment for the 2018 signing class. Kristian Sjolund, a 6-foot-9 forward from Katy, Texas, called Pastner Sunday to accept his scholarship offer a week after making an official visit to Tech, according to his AAU coach.
“He liked what he saw on his visit and felt like he didn’t want to go through it anymore,” said Sjolund’s AAU coach, Stephon Leary of the Shooting Stars. “(He) didn’t want to prolong the process, felt good enough about Georgia Tech to just get it over with.”
Tech ended up being the only official visit that Sjolund, who grew up in Norway, took. Ole Miss, Baylor, Washington State, Colorado and Illinois were among other offers. Pastner, who grew up in Houston, was connected with Sjolund through Leary. Tech made an offer the first time its coaches saw him play live and have been pursuing him ever since, Leary said. He is rated a three-star prospect by 247 Sports and the No. 232 player nationally.
“They made him a priority and went after him and I think he felt good about that throughout the whole summer,” Leary said.
Sjolund is described as a versatile and athletic forward who can shoot the ball from the perimeter. At the FIBA U16 European Championships in 2015, he averaged 18.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for Norway.
Sjolund was born in the state of Washington but grew up in Norway. His family moved to the Katy, in the Houston area, in seventh grade before returning to Norway for ninth grade before coming back to Katy for his sophomore year. He attends Thompkins High in Katy.
“He’s a great kid, first of all,” Leary said. “I think he will bring a lot of joy and happiness and determination and passion to the program because of his character and personality. And as a basketball player, he’s a 6-9, skilled, athletic kid who can really shoot the ball.”
It’s an important commitment for Tech and Pastner as he tries to gain momentum. He has two more spots available. Having a committed prospect allows him to devote more attention to other targets.