Virginia Tech basketball adds Dutch forward to 2011 recruiting class

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team has received an oral committment from 6-foot-10 forward Johan Van Zegeren of the Netherlands this week, according to an athletic department source.

Van Zegeren, who played for the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa last season, becomes the fifth member of the Hokies’ 2011 recruiting class. He cannot currently sign a letter-of-intent because his commitment comes after the conclusion of the spring signing period, but he will be on Virginia Tech’s roster next season.

Van Zegeren, 20, was recruited by new assistant Rob Ehsan, who last week said he planned to expand the Hokies’ recruiting internationally and on the West Coast. The Hokies had an extra scholarship open after forward Manny Atkins announced he would be transferring to Georgia State last month.

But Van Zegeren won’t be the first player of Dutch descent to suit up for Coach Seth Greenberg in Blacksburg. In 2004, the Hokies signed 7-footer Robert Krabbendom, who played limited minutes during three seasons at Virginia Tech before returning to the Netherlands.

Judging from his highlight video, Van Zegeren is a big man with a smooth outside shot. He also reportedly had interest from Washington, Seton Hall and Providence. His teammates at Canarias Basketball Academy included Seton Hall signee Haralds Karlis and North Carolina State commit Thomas de Thaey.

Virginia Tech’s 2011 recruiting class, which already included Virginia’s AAA player of the year Dorian Finney-Smith and four-star prospects C.J. Barksdale and Robert Brown of Hargrave Military Academy, had been ranked No. 13 in the country by Rivals.com before Van Zegeren’s commitment.

Mark Giannotto covers high school sports for The Washington Post.

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