Joe Wolfinger Headed Back West

When Joe Wolfinger turned down a host of mid-major offers last year to try and get stronger and get a high-major look, he did it with the hope of getting to the Pac-10. Well, the 7-foot Oregon native accomplished his goal on Tuesday.

When Joe Wolfinger decided to head 3,000 or so miles to Massachusetts, it was with the hope of returning to the west coast to play his college basketball in the Pac-10.

The 7-foot, 225-pound Oregon native, playing at Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.), realized that dream when he committed to Washington just days after returning from a visit to Seattle.

``It feels good," Wolfinger said. "I didn't think all of this would happen so quickly."

``I really like the coaching staff, the morals and values they stand for," he added. "Jon Brockman is a really good guy and so are all the guys on the team. They're a rising program."

``Being close to home played into it. It was one of the factors," Wolfinger continued. "But I didn't go there just because of location. I really respect Coach (Lorenzo) Romar."

Wolfinger also took visits to Cincinnati and Florida State – and was considering taking a trip to Georgia Tech. Prior to arriving at Northfield, it was primarily mid-major schools such as Boise State and Idaho who were tracking the skilled big man – although DePaul was extremely close to offering him a scholarship.

``To be honest, when I first saw of tape of him, I was surprised people missed on him," said NMH associate head coach John Carroll, a standout player a few years back at Assumption College. "He's a 7-footer who can run the floor and really shoot it. Now he's about 30 pounds heavier than he was on the tape."

``He's potentially the best kid we've ever had here," added Carroll. "He's so skilled and is very composed with the ball in his hands. He's a fantastic shooter who day-in and day-out shoots 60 percent from the field – and that includes three-pointers."

One of the reasons why Wolfinger wasn't highly sought-after until he arrived at NMH was because he barely played this past spring and summer.

``He's so competitive and is very coachable," Carroll said. "He has a thirst to learn new things and has a strong desire to get better."

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