Gilles Dierickx talks UW commitment

SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar's connections have paid off once again. Gilles Dierickx, a 7-foot, 217-pound forward/center from Florida International University, by way of Belgium, verbally committed to Washington Wednesday during the first day of his official visit.

Dierickx, who was a freshman last year at FIU, will have to sit out the 2012-13 season in Seattle and then be a sophomore in good standing for the 2013-14 season.

"Yes, the rumors are true," Dierickx told Thursday morning. "Yesterday was my first day of my official visit with the University of Washington, and just from the stuff that I got here it felt great, so I made my commitment on the first day."

Dierickx, who is originally from Belgium, lived in Los Angeles for nearly three years while playing hoops for Chaminade Prep in West Hills, so he considers southern California his second home. So why the move to Miami to play for Isiah Thomas? "The recruiting process started out kind of slow for me, I started getting recruited pretty late," he said. "Through my AAU team I got in touch with Isiah Thomas. There were some other schools on the east coast, like Pittsburgh and stuff, but I didn't want to go to the cold. I wanted to play for Isiah Thomas, so that's why I chose to go there."

So why a move back west after only one year? "First of all, the whole coaching staff was fired over there, so that was a big reason obviously," Dierickx said. "And then just being closer to the west coast. It's a lot different from Florida. Even though I'll still be in Washington and Seattle, it's still a lot closer to my second home - LA - than being in Miami."

Dierickx filled us in on his recruiting process the second time around in search of the right fit. "I visited University of San Francisco and USC as well," he said. "I looked at LMU and some of the smaller schools on the west coast. But from the first day I could tell that the University of Washington just stood above them and has so much to offer. Right now I'm going to transfer to the University of Washington. I will have to sit out one year, but I'll use that as a redshirt year and then I'll be able to play next year (with three years to play three)."

How did the Huskies find out about Dierickx and his situation? "My coaches from FIU, they were looking out for me," he said. "Isiah Thomas knows coach Romar, so that's how we got in touch. And one of our other coaches is friends with coach Chill - so it's just a good opportunity."

Dierickx was asked about his game. "I'm a typical European 4-man, but I've kind of adapted to the American game. In the beginning people have the stereotype of European players, or post players, being soft - and in the beginning I probably was. But I've adapted pretty well to the American game, so I'm a typical 4-man. I have a face-up game, but I can play back to the basket too. I can shoot the mid-range shot and pass the ball, so yeah - a typical 4-guy."

To watch Dierickx from his Chaminade days, watch below. Top Stories