Bjornstad signs with Cougs

STEVEN BJORNSTAD, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Vancouver, Wash., has signed a Financial Aid Agreement with Washington State to play hoops for Ken Bone. Bjornstad said he will arrive at WSU next week and enroll early in summer courses. He'll be part of the 2009 Cougar class that includes G Reggie Moore, PF Brock Motum, PG Xavier Thames and SG Anthony Brown, and CF.C talks with the newest Coug.

A crimson-colored scholarship slot for Steven Bjornstad became available at WSU after freshman guard Nick Witherill was given his release. Witherill is transferring to NCAA Division II Grand Canyon in Phoenix.

Because Bjornstad originally signed a letter of intent to Nevada, he cannot sign another LOI. Instead, and as is customary in these cases, he signed a Financial Aid Agreement with Washington State.

Bjornstad, who says he wants to play around 240 pounds this season, said Bone has been recruiting him since he was a sophomore.

"I realy liked him but I didn't want to go to Portland State," said Bjornstad.

"Washington State my first choice (last year) but they didn't make me an offer."

Bjornstad said he will enroll in school early and is leaving Sunday to attend Washington State's four-week summer session.

"I'm a team player, I'm not going to selfish, I'm going to share the ball," said Bjornstad.

The existing four members of the class Bjornstad joins all come in with quite a bit of fanfare, the newest member is decidedly in the sleeper category according to the written words of the hoops gurus. Bjornstad was not offered by any of the major conference schools until receiving the offer from WSU but, says ESPN, offers a mountain of intrigue befitting his 6-10 frame.

Joel Francisco,'s West Coast recruiting coordinator, said this about Bjornstad: "... one of the most promising sleepers on the West Coast ... a late-developing prospect with a significant amount of upside."

Bjornstad was named the 3A Greater St. Helens Most Valuable Player this past season. A two-time all-league selection, he averaged 15.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.

"Steven adds depth to a position we really needed in the post," Bone said in the release. "He has a really nice frame, is a very skilled big kid who can pass it and is an outstanding shooter. I believe he has the skill set to develop into a real nice Pac-10 player."

The Cougars' roster now lists six Washingtonians, with three Washington natives, Brown, Moore and Bjornstad, joining the Cougs for 2009-10.

Ben Johnson, the lone holdover on WSU's coaching staff under Bone, recruited Bjornstad for former coach Tony Bennett but the Cougs did not offer and he signed with Nevada last November. Bjornstad requested his release from Nevada the last week of April, after changes were made on the coaching staff, but Nevada had refused the request until mid-June.

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