As a program, the Portland Pilots have done a solid job developing big man; as a matter of fact, the athletic department has advertised that on their website.
For example, Thomas van der Mars – who is from the Netherlands, has develop the ability to contribute a double-double on any given night.
The next foreign big men to enter the Portland program is Philipp Hartwich, a 7-foot-0 center from Cologne, Germany. The Pilots and Coach Reveno are hoping that Hartwich turns into a Van der Mars esque player down the road for the Pilots.
While playing internationally
According to this news release from the University of Portland, Hartwich only played competitive basketball for three seasons while at Germany, which makes the feat of reaching the Division I level even more impressive.
Hartwich played two season with RheinStars Koln senior men’s team at the NBBL U19 level, and put up solid numbers. His 9.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game last season was enough to get Portland’s attention, as was his 64 percent shooting from the field.
Prior to basketball, Hartwich was a successful handball player at the national level, showing his athletic versatility.
Impact at Portland
The Pilots are fairly set at the center position this season, so playing time might be scarce for the German big man. Nonetheless, Hartwich will be a part of the programs future plans, without a doubt.
Thomas van der Mars will start at center, with a combination of Riley Barker and Volodymyr Gerun. With three legitimate players vying for playing time, a redshirt season might be in order. Since Hartwich is relatively new to the game of basketball, a season to train and further develop would be nice for him.