FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Los Angeles high school product Gaellan Bewernick and Greek center Rafail Tsourakis have each signed a National Letter-of-Intent to attend Northern Arizona University and play basketball in the fall, Head Coach Mike Adras announced Thursday.
“I am very excited to have these student-athletes join the program,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “I think both have the opportunity to contribute. It will be interesting to see how much with the very experienced team we have returning. We have two young players that Lumberjack fans will really like to watch as they grow and get better for the next four years”
Bewernick, who attended Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and played for his father, averaged 25.5 points and 17.7 rebounds as a senior. He was an all-area selection by both the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Sentinel in 2009. He played for the American International Basketball Institute (AIBI) postgraduate team for the 2009-10 season based in Asheville, N.C. He is listed at 6-6, 215.
“Gaellen has the ability to score inside and outside,” said Adras. “He runs the court well and he rebounds the ball well. We need to get guys who are aggressively pursuing rebounds. You don’t put up numbers like he did in high school unless you play every possession. He reminds me of former Lumberjack Ruben Boykin.”
Bewernick, whose uncle played football at NAU, was also a three-year letterwinner in volleyball.
The Lumberjacks also added big man prospect Rafail Tsourakis (pronounced SIR-a-kiss) from Greece, who is listed at 6-10 and 220 pounds. He was selected to play for the Greek National Team but has not seen any action. He is originally from the Island of Crete.
“Rafail is going to have an adjustment adapting to not just American basketball but Division I basketball,” said Adras. “It is going to be a huge transition for him. He is very effective in the low post and can step out and make shots. He is a pretty skilled big guy which is what you see with most European big players. He has the necessary skill set to be successful.”
Bewernick and Tsourakis join Riverside CC guard Danny Redmon in the 2009-10 recruiting class. Redmon, who earned California Community College all-state honors, averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He led Riverside CC to a 30-7 record and the California State Junior College Championship in 2009 as a freshman.
The Lumberjacks have a talented returning group for the 2010-11 season, including four returning starters and 10 letter winners overall. Overall, NAU returns 87 percent of its scoring, including the five top scorers and seven of the top eight, and 77 percent of the rebounds from the 2009-10 season.
2009-10 Recruiting Class
Danny Redmon, G, 6-2, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Upland/Riverside CC)
Gaellan Bewernick, F, 6-6, Los Angeles, Calif. (Manual Arts)
Rafail Tsourakis, C, 6-10, Souda, Crete, Greece (One Technical Vocational School of Piraeus)