Born in Oklahoma, growing up in England, playing nationally for Poland and spending last year in Indiana at La Lumiere, Jeremy Sochan has a unique global perspective that many 17-year-olds could only dream of. With a year of development at an American national powerhouse under his belt, Sochan decided that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his best course of action was to finish his high school playing career at Orange Academy in Ulm, Germany. He expects to have a chance to play in the German second division, as Orange Academy is a development team of the German club team ratiopharm Ulm. This should be yet another valuable experience for Sochan, who announced this morning his decision to play collegiately at Baylor as part of the 2021 high school class.
Playing for Poland in the FIBA U16 European Championship Division B tournaments the past two summers, Sochan went from playing spot minutes in 2018 to becoming tournament MVP one year later while leading Poland to the gold medal. This past year at La Lumiere, Sochan continued his upward trajectory as he displayed his blend of impressive physical tools, athleticism, fluidity and court acumen. Sochan worked very well in the open court, excelling in transition and showing a quick second jump around the basket. He is in the process of working on his handling and shooting, but has continuously shown encouraging flashes in each department.
At the NBA Academy Games in July 2019, Sochan measured at 6’8 in shoes with a 6’11.5 wingspan and an impressive 8’11 standing reach. Considering his impressive mobility, these measurements seem to point to the possibility of him playing up to three positions, which would signal major value moving forward.
Sochan is Baylor’s second commitment from the high school class of 2021, with Montverde Academy guard Langston Love recently announcing his intentions to join the Bears, as well. Love, who is currently ranked 25th in the 247 Composite, is a strong scoring guard who should be in contention for postseason high school all-star games. Sochan — particularly due to his move to Germany, may not have the same level of national ranking right now — appears to be a prospect equal to Love’s level, especially had he been given the opportunity to play in front of top evaluators via the typical shoe circuits.
In this interview, Sochan breaks down his decision to commit to Baylor, reflects on his time at La Lumiere, compares living in the U.S. vs. Europe, discusses potentially getting the chance to represent Poland in the Nike Hoop Summit, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2021 prospect Jeremy Sochan, from Milton Keynes, England:
Pro Insight: Congratulations on such a huge decision! What separated Baylor from the rest of your suitors?
Jeremy Sochan: Thank you very much! What separated Baylor from the rest was 15 months of a true relationship. I would consistently talk to the coaches and I built a really good relationship with them all. I felt like I fit very well in the Baylor family.
PI: Who did you build the closest relationship with on staff?
JS: I had a very close relationship with coach [John] Jakus and coach [Scott] Drew. Coach Jakus was the first one to talk to me.
PI: How would you describe the culture within the Baylor program?
JS: It’s family! Every time we connected with each other we would always have smiles on our faces and it wasn’t always about basketball. I feel like it was more than just basketball.
PI: What are your expectations for your role on the team?
JS: I believe that if I work hard and stay on course, I’ll be able to have a big role as a freshman. I am a versatile player that will do anything for the team whether that’s hustling, scoring the ball, defending...just anything the team needs.
PI: Let’s take a step back, for a minute. What were your biggest takeaways from your time at La Lumiere?
JS: My biggest takeaways from La Lumiere were that you can always find positives from negatives and that the people you surround yourself with will define who you are.
PI: Who was the toughest matchup for you this past season?
JS: My toughest matchup for me this past season was my mind! I believe I lost a little bit of confidence at the start of the year but as the year went on, my confidence grew and I felt like I was playing my best basketball until the pandemic started.
PI: Do you ultimately prefer living in the U.S. or in Europe?
JS: Both places are very different! But I like living in the U.S. and in Europe. For example, I probably like the food more in the states but I also like how easy it is to get to places in Europe. Everything is a lot smaller in Europe.
PI: What are you most looking forward to about being back in Europe, developing this next year in Germany?
JS: I’m looking forward to working with the Ulm coaches and developing into a better person as well as a better player.
PI: What do you feel you need to focus on most in your development prior to taking the stage in the Big 12?
JS: I believe I’ll need to work on everything, of course...but specifically on getting stronger physically and working on getting faster with the ball in my hands.
PI: Do you feel like there are any good player comparisons out there for you within the NCAA, NBA or in Europe?
JS: I believe there are a lot of good player comparisons for me but for me I like to read and watch a lot of different players, different roles and positions, and leagues. As I watch them I like to pick small things from them all and add them to my bag and then create myself instead of comparing myself to one specific player.
PI: You’ve talked about it a bit in other interviews, but walk us through your experience thus far with the Polish National Team