Oregonian 7-Footer Bursts Onto Scene

It's hard for a 7-footer to remain somewhat anonymous, but that's exactly what happened with Joe Wolfinger - until he arrived at Northfield Mount Hermon.

Things have worked out well for Joe Wolfinger since he made the 3,000 or so mile trek across the country to Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.).

The 7-foot, 225-pound Oregon native, who has put on about 25 pounds since averaging 14.5 points last season at Aloha High (Ore.), has already received an offer from Bob Huggins and Cincinnati.

In fact, Wolfinger will take a visit to Cincinnati this weekend and will follow that up with either a trip to Boston College or Florida State the following weekend.

Wolfinger, 18, is a virtual unknown because of his relative invisibility on the summer circuit. He played a couple tournaments with the Portland Legends, but other than that, he basically stayed at home during the summer.

Northfield Mount Hermon associate head coach John Carroll said Wolfinger isn't your typical seven-footer.

``He's comfortable out at 19-9 and is able to bury 3-pointers with no problem," Carroll said. "I was shocked when I first saw him. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He's not a gangly, awkward kid, either. He's athletic, runs the floor, moves well laterally and has a high basketball IQ."

``I'm not a big slow block to block player," Wolfinger said. "I can go up and down. I love to trail and hit the three."

``I'm a late bloomer," he added. "My sophomore year I was 6-10 and really skinny. Last year I was 200 pounds."

One college coach who recently saw him compared him to a shorter version of Rik Smits.

A year ago, Wolfinger was fielding interest from the likes of Boise State and Idaho. DePaul was also in the mix, but the Blue Demons never offered – so Wolfinger decided he wanted to get bigger and stronger.

Enter Northfield Mount Hermon.

``I thought that coming out here would help me get bigger looks," Wolfinger said.

He was right.

Other than Cincinnati, BC and FSU, Carroll also mentioned that Washington State , Oregon State and Providence have expressed interest. Wolfinger admitted that he'd love to get back to the west coast and play in the Pac-10 if at all possible.


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