Will Ryan has landed his first commitment as the new head coach of the Green Bay Phoenix.
The program received a verbal commitment from 2020 prospect Cem Kirciman over the weekend, a long and lanky forward originally from Bursa, Turkey. Kirciman played the past two seasons at the Tilton School, a prep school in New Hampshire.
He announced his decision to join Green Bay in a social media post on Saturday.
“I’m so excited to announce my commitment to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay,” he wrote. “First of all, I want to thank Tamer Turkman for his huge help because I wouldn’t get this offer without him. I feel so lucky that I worked with Coach Marcus O’Neil at Tilton School who stood by me the whole time.”
“I want to thank Coach Will Ryan for giving me this great opportunity. I also want to thank my family for their amazing support as well as my friends and teammates.”
Listed at 6’7” or 6’8” depending on where you look, Kirciman adds some much needed size to Green Bay’s roster. He adds another player that can play in the post with his back to the basket and should be able to provide some help in the rebounding department as well.
He also handles the ball well on the dribble and can knock down outside jumpers from beyond the arc, an important trait in the swing offense where post players often end up on the wing.
Kirciman “is an outstanding ball-handler and passer for his size,” according to NewEnglandRecruitingReport.com. “He can take the ball off the glass to start the break or provide a frontcourt facilitator off the elbows. He’s also extremely crafty inside the lane with his footwork and finishing maneuvers.”
Prior to attending Tilton, where he was the team captain this past season, Kirciman played for the Turkish national team at the FIBA U16 European Championship in 2017 and averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game over 7 games in the tournament. Turkey finished 5th in the 16 team tournament losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion France.
The commitment from Kirciman brings Green Bay up to 11 scholarship players for next season, assuming that Southern Door High School standout Ryan Claflin still plans to walk-on and redshirt this upcoming season and the rumors of Will Chevalier’s departure from the team are accurate, leaving two open scholarships yet to be filled.
Ryan could choose to fill both spots or possibly bank one to use on a stacked Wisconsin high school class of 2021.
Regardless, the first recruit for the new head coach looks to be a good, versatile player that will perfectly fit the program’s new system and will likely contribute right away this upcoming season.
“I am very proud and pleased to start this new journey,” Kirciman wrote. “Go Phoenix!”