Deng Gak to join Vasiljevic at Miami

Talented 6'11 big man Deng Gak has verbally committed to Miami, and will join compatriot Dejan Vasiljevic at the Hurricanes for the 2017/18 season.

The athletic forward had narrowed his commitment down to five schools; Duke, Florida, Kansas, Miami and Indiana. He visited Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Miami, settling on the latter and publicly stating via a post on his Twitter account that the Hurricanes are the best fit for him both from an educational and basketball standpoint. Gak becomes the latest Australian to join a school playing in a major program (ACC), following in the footsteps of the likes of Isaac Humphries (Kentucky), Jack White (Duke) and Louisville duo Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel.

In September 2015, Gak embarked on a move to New Jersey to attend Blair Academy. It is the same school that Loul Deng attended, also of South Sudanese descent, and is aiming to follow a similar pathway to the NBA.

Born in Egypt, Gak then moved to South Sudan before settling in Sydney, Australia. As a scholarship holder at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, he would go on to represent Australia at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship as a 17-year-old, playing against athletes two years older than him. In that tournament, Australia finished seventh.

Gak cuts an imposing figure on the court. Standing at 6’11 with a huge 7’5 wingspan, he has great athleticism and agility while also possessing the ability to cover the court well. The 18 year old’s mid-range jump shot is hard to guard due to his extremely high release point.

The young Aussie oozes of potential and raw natural talent so it’s no surprise he was recruited heavily by some major conference schools. He becomes the third recruit for the Hurricane's 2017 incoming class, and will look forward to joining his Emu's team-mate Vasiljevic.