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UVa Adds Kiwi Big Man

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 11:58am

At the very least, Virginia has added a great name to its future roster. But it's also possible the Cavaliers added an intriguing international prospect when they got a commitment today from New Zealand big man, Jack Salt. 

Salt stands 6-10 and hails from North Shore Westlake Boys High. Though just 17, the lefty recently got called up to the New Zealand national team, the Tall Blacks, for a tour of China.

"The team did well and I got more minutes than I thought, so I was really happy," Salt told The New Zealand Herald"I just got chucked straight in there for the first game, so I just adapted."

He also has played in the top league in New Zealand, averaging 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Super City Rangers. 

Salt was then picked up by the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League, but decided he wanted to go the U.S. college route, rather than go ahead and turn pro.

Not surprisingly, St. Mary's - which has prospered from bringing in Australian imports in recent years - was in the mix. Also reportedly vying for Salt were Boise State and Pitt. The Panthers, you'll recall, had another New Zealand big man, Steven Adams, on their squad last season. He turned pro after one year at Pitt and was the 12th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

UVa almost certainly benefited from Tony Bennett's background in New Zealand, where he was a player-coach for the North Harbor Kings, from 1996-1999.

Salt is the third member of Virginia's 2014 class, joining shooting guard B.J. Stith and forward Isaiah Wilkins.