news 5 days ago

UND basketball receives commitment from versatile junior college forward

Grand Forks Herald — Tom Miller Grand Forks Herald

March 25-- Mar. 25--With the UND men's basketball team graduating three seniors and seeing three more players announce transfers this offseason, the Fighting Hawks would be looking at a bit of a young, inexperienced roster heading into head coach Paul Sather's second year.

On Tuesday, the Fighting Hawks took a step toward adding age and experience.

Kirkwood Community College's Seybian Sims -- a 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward from Iowa City, Iowa -- announced his verbal commitment to the Fighting Hawks.

#Committed #JucoProduct pic.twitter.com/KQz8RI70vp

-- Seybian Sims™? (@KingSeySey1) March 24, 2020

Sims averaged 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for Kirkwood, which is based in Sims' hometown of Iowa City. He scored in double figures in four of the team's last five games including an 18-point outing in a win over Iowa Central Community College.

"Consistency," Kirkwood first-year coach Tim Sandquist said of Sims' strengths. "Seybian is one of the most consistent guys that I've ever had the privilege to coach. What I mean by that is the approach he brings to games and practices, and it carries into off-the-court, too, how he handles his business in the classroom and interacts on campus, it's all done in a professional matter, which is impressive for such a young man."

Sandquist said Sims played the No. 3 position for his team last season but had the ability to play the No. 4 spot if the team played with a smaller lineup.

"He has good perimeter skills," Sandquist said. "He's dynamic in some ways on the perimeter because of his length. he can shoot over guys and put it on the floor. His strength, too, is his activity level. He's relentless on the glass and does a lot of things that don't show up in the stat sheet. He makes a lot of winning plays, lots of extra-effort things that coach Sather and the staff at North Dakota saw."

Sims was part of a successful program at Kirkwood, which went 24-6 his sophomore season and was 55-10 in his two years. Kirkwood also produced South Dakota State post Douglas Wilson, who was named the 2019-20 Summit League Player of the Year this winter.

Sims prepped at West High School, which Sandquist said is one of the best in the state of Iowa. The Trojans won a 4A state championship during Sims' junior year and finished runner-up in his senior campaign.

"He's a special kid," Sandquist said. "Teams need guys like him to win games, and he knows what it takes."

UND finished 15-18 in Sather's first season in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks earned notable regular-season wins over Nebraska and future league champion North Dakota State and made a surprising run to the Summit League championship game, where the Hawks lost to the Bison in Sioux Falls.

UND graduated starters Marlon Stewart, Billy Brown and Kienan Walter, then saw three players who hadn't seen much playing time the past two years announce transfers in Marko Coudreau, Davids Atelbauers and Elijah Hazekamp.

In the 2020-21 season, the Hawks are expected to return two starters including all-Summit League honorable mention Filip Rebraca and De'Sean Allen-Eikens, who set UND's all-time freshman scoring record this past season.

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