Arrival With Clock Ticking

Volodymyr Gerun has arrived in West Virginia and signed his letter of intent to play at WVU, but he only has three years of eligibility in college. Other factors could also limit his available eligibility, but for now WVU head coach Bob Huggins is pleased to have him aboard.

Gerun, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, signed a grant-in-aid to attend West Virginia University this year.

"We're extremely happy to have Volodymyr in our program," says Huggins. "He brings us much-needed depth to our front line. We think he will bring an added dimension of skill level to our front line."

That's the good news. The downside is that Gerun, who graduated from the the Dnipropetrovsk High College of Physical Culture in 2010, will have only three years of eligibility remaining at West Virginia. When he graduated, his five year window of eligibility began in the fall that year. Thus, the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons count as his freshman and his "redshirt" years of eligibility.

Gerun has one other hurdle to clear -- the NCAA eligibility center. After high school, he played for the Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk basketball team in the Ukraine Superleague. Last year, he attended the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands off the Northwest coast of Africa. He also attended the Dnipropetrovsk State Institute of Physical Culture and Sport in 2010-11. If any of those associations are deemed to have professional ties, he could be docked additional eligibility, just as current center Deniz Kilicli was at the start of his WVU career.

At this time, it's not yet known if any of those associations will raise any red flags with the NCAA. With Gerun's official signing, the next step will be to get him cleared through the NCAA. Gerun is eligible to practice with the team while he goes through the approval process.

Gerun has made a name for himself in his early career on the international stage. At the 2011 under-18 European Championships, where his team finished 5-4, Gerun led Ukraine in scoring (18.2), rebounding (11.1) and blocks (2.1). He posted 29 points and 14 rebounds against Italy. Gerun also posted double-doubles against Finland (19 points, 20 rebounds), Greece (16 points, 18 rebounds), Finland (23 points and 14 rebounds) and Czech Republic (25 points and 10 rebounds). He had 23 points against Greece. In those nine games, Gerun shot 50.0 percent (61 for 122) from the field, averaging 34.3 minutes per game.

Gerun was named MVP of the 2010 under-16 European Championships after he averaged 17.3 points per game. During that tournament, she shot 58.0 percent from the field, averaged 9.1 rebounds per game, 1.8 steals per game and 2.4 blocks per game.


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