Winters Will Be Different For Canadian Center

What would you say if we told you a 7-foot-2 Canadian on a Mormon mission in Miami once dreamed of playing for the Sun Devils when he was 12 years old? This is a story you've got to hear!

"It's really hard to get noticed in Western Canada."

Really? Even when you're 7-foot-2?

"The cool thing is, like I told Jordan, if you were 6-foot-5, you'd have to come home from your mission and play junior college," Yolanda Bachynski told "But, in that video that everyone has seen, he's 7-1. But, because he's now 7-2, he got serious looks because he's big and agile."

What video? Which 7-2 guy? Intrigued?

On Tuesday, Herb Sendek's Arizona State program accepted a commitment from Calgary (Alberta) Centennial standout Jordan Bachynski, a center out of Canada who is presently on a Mormon mission in, of all places, Miami.

Bachynski's story is a neat one. His mother played college basketball in Canada and he had varying degrees of interest coming out himself. He was all set to attend powerful Findlay Prep but during the 12th grade in Canada, he tore every ligament in his ankle and needed surgery.

His first game back was in March of 2008. He participated in Canada's version of the McDonald's game and played well. Again, schools were interested but he knew a mission was on the horizon.

Jordan's mission in Miami meant that he had no time to visit schools. He and his mother had seen a few campuses themselves but the center asked mom and dad to check a few out and be his "eyes and ears."

Last week, a handful of schools were permitted to fly to Miami and meet with Jordan, his parents and his mission president. BYU, Oregon State, San Diego, Connecticut and Arizona State made the trip. Each offered a scholarship but only the Sun Devils made the final cut.

As has always been a hallmark of Herb Sendek, preparation proved to be the key ingredient that swayed things ASU's way.

"(Sendek) was the most prepared for Jordan. He had a plan and vision for Jordan. The hardest thing was to turn down UConn's scholarship because of their reputation. But, after meeting with Herb Sendek, Jordan felt coach had a vision for how he was going to use him."

In fairness, ASU had a little history on its side. Somehow, as a young child, Bachynski had crafted a dream school in his mind and guess who it was? No kidding, they're from the Pac-10!

"We love basketball in our house, we watch it all the time," Yolanda said. "When Jordan was young, he was taller than the average player. I asked him when he was 12 years old if he could pick any school where would he go and he said Arizona State. I said ‘what?'"

On Tuesday, the dream came full circle. The big man committed to Arizona State, fulfilling a childhood expectation rooted in hard work, determination and preparation. He's on his mission until next May. After that, he'll be ready for basketball again.

"In Canada, we don't have a lot of coaches who teach him how to play post in Canada. We looked, we searched and we did tons of research on programs that we thought would fit our son's style of play. He's very quick, he's agile. He can run the floor. We tried to find programs where big guys touched the ball."

More than anyone else, Sendek convinced him those touches would come in Tempe.

It may be a while before we hear a story that can rival this one. Then again, it may be a while before another 7-2 center heads south via our neighbors up north.

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