New school interested in Bohlander

When Justin Bohlander decided against taking a scholarship offer from Henry Bibby and USC a couple months ago, it was far from an easy decision. Now it's Indiana that may be on the verge of offering and this one may be even more difficult to turn down for the possible future North Carolina walk-on.

The 6-7 ½, 195-pound Winston-Salem (N.C.) Reynolds forward has always had a dream of playing in Chapel Hill. It dated back to his days in New Jersey when he was in elementary school.

The Hoosiers staff was in attendance, taking a look at Bohlander on Friday night in Reynolds' loss to West Forsyth. Bohlander scored 8 points, but he did numerous other things in filling up the stat sheet.

"He's had a good year," Reynolds coach Howard West said. "He was the second-leading rebounder at the Academy Invitational in Houston and is far from one-dimensional. He helps us in many different areas – some nights it's scoring, others it's rebounding or assists or blocks."

Bohlander is basically a pass-first point forward who has terrific court vision. However, he needs to improve his perimeter shot and get stronger to make an impact at the ACC or Big 10 level.

"I think he can play a role at Carolina,' West added. "I don't think he has any illusions of being a scorer like Rashad McCants, but he thinks he can contribute and I agree with that."

Bohlander, who turned down the USC offer partially because it was so far from his mother, who lives in North Carolina, and his father, who resides in New Jersey, is still awaiting word on whether he's been academically accepted into UNC.

"I find out this week if I get in," said Bohlander, who at one time as recent as this summer wasn't even planning on playing college basketball at all. "But Indiana hasn't offered yet. They heard about me and came to see me play, but it's not like the USC situation because they haven't offered yet."

"I have to see what's going on with the whole Indiana thing," he added. "It was tough to turn down USC and now I am hearing that Indiana is interested. Nobody really took any interest in me until now.

"I'm just going to have to think about it if they offer. Right now I'm focused on Carolina and I'll find out at the end of the week whether or not I get in. Then, hopefully, I'll hear from Indiana."

Actually, some mid-majors like Radford and James Madison were interested, but Bohlander opted to be a role player for the Tar Heels rather than playing a larger role on a less-publicized program. Unlike with current walk-on David Noel, Bohlander said that there has been no talk with the staff of him eventually earning a scholarship.

"I just love Carolina," Bohlander said. "I love the atmosphere. I know I'm going to have to work for my playing time. I don't expect to go in and be the seventh man, but I expect to go in and work hard and earn some PT."


Check out the Justin Bohlander profile.

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