European Hoops Prospect Likes AU Visit

Dion Wade talks about his official visit to Auburn and his interest in Tony Barbee's basketball Tigers.

Henderson, Nev.--In November the Auburn Tigers signed European player Benas Griciunas out of Findlay Prep and over the weekend the Tigers were hosts for another European basketball prospect from that prep powerhouse, Dion Wade.

The six-foot-seven guard/forward from Antwerp, Belgium said he thoroughly enjoyed his trip to check out Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers and noted that Auburn is his leader over Southern Cal, Gonzaga, UTEP, San Diego State and others. He said each of those colleges has offered him a scholarship.

"My dad came with me and we both had a really good time on the visit," Wade said.

His father, Butch Wade, was a standout performer at the University of Michigan who played professionally in Europe. He is now coaching basketball at Riverview High in Sarasota, Fla.

The prospect noted that he values his father's opinion. "Family is important to me," he said, pointing out that he got the feeling that the players and coaches on the Auburn team have a good bond and are like an extended family. He noted that if he comes to Auburn he will have family members close by who live in Georgia.

Wade, who is 19 years old, finished the majority of his high school work back in Belgium before heading to Nevada to play for Findlay Prep, a team loaded with Division I prospects. With no game this weekend for his unbeaten team, he took the opportunity to make his first official visit.

"I had a great time," he said. "Auburn is definitely a school to consider. The coaches showed me around campus, the players showed me around campus and showed me how the family works."

Wade said he was impressed with the campus and the facilities for basketball, noting that he believes Auburn is a place where he could prosper as a player.

The prospect said the practice facilities are first class and he liked the atmosphere at Saturday night's game when the Tigers played Ole Miss. He added that the student section, which is nicknamed The Jungle, stood out to him and helped make the game fun to watch.

He also noted that he has built a good bond with Auburn associate head coach Ryan Miller, his primary recruiter and the coach who recruited Griciunas to Auburn.

"A good family atmosphere, great coaches and people I know will work with me and make me a better player is what I am looking for," said Wade, who added that Griciunas was right on target with his scouting report about Auburn. "I really like the people at Auburn and everything is nice there."

Wade is scheduled to sign in the spring period and said there is a good chance he could be joining Griciunas, a seven-foot post player, on the Auburn roster.

Asked to describe his style of play the prospect said guard is his favorite position. "I like to look around the court and if I see a teammate open or someone in a better position to make a play, I try to get him the ball. I am not a selfish player and the important thing is for the team to be successful."

Findlay has had plenty of success in recent season and the 2012-13 team, which is unbeaten, is no exception. Noting that he was looking forward to coming to the United States, he said that he is enjoying being a part of the Findlay team. "It has a college feel," he said. "I definitely like it. We have some many good players practices are really competitive."

While in Belgium he played for a club team that traveled around Europe. "It was good competition and it helped me develop my game," Wade said. "Being at Findlay has been good for me, too."

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