Updated: Jun 11
Class of 2022 center William Berg of RIG Luleå has committed to Purdue. The big man from Stockholm, Sweden ultimately chose the Boilermakers over the Utah State Aggies. Standing at 7’1” and weighing in at 270 pounds, Berg brings legitimate size as a mobile center who can make plays out of the post and stretch the floor when necessary. A prospect who has represented Sweden at the international level on U16 and U18 teams, Berg caught the eye of a plethora of college programs, including Coach Matt Painter and the rest of the staff at Purdue.
Purdue has had an excellent track record of recruiting and developing bigs in Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan and currently in Zach Edey and Trevion Williams. The team is a Final Four contender this year and with the addition of Berg, the rich get richer.
The newest Boilermaker spoke with Pro Insight’s Conrad Chow about his decision:
Pro Insight: First off — for those that don’t know you, talk a bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
William Berg: I started to play when I was seven for a club named Skuru IK. Since I was tall, even back then, I got to jump up and play with kids one year older than me. Later down the road, I actually got to jump up one year more and play with current Arizona player Pelle Larsson, which was when I was about 13-14 years old. When I was 15, I transferred and played my final year of club basketball at Fryshuset, which is a bigger club. But where I developed the most is at my current high school, RIG Luleå. It’s kind of like how you guys in the states do it. This is really uncommon in Sweden and there’s only two schools that do it that way. At RIG Luleå, I grew a little bit but lost a lot of weight and became more skilled than I’ve been previously. It’s here that I’ve developed my shooting a lot, too.
PI: How has it felt to get all this attention from different college programs?
WB: Incredible. I feel really blessed and I am really thankful for this. The amount of Swedish kids going to play college basketball is increasing but still not a lot, so I’m extremely thankful that all the work that I’ve put in is being noticed.
PI: Talk about your experience with Sweden on the international stage. What has it been like and what has been the most memorable moment?
WB: My first time playing was with the U16 team and it was really an experience that I learned a lot from. Then I had a period where I was injured for a while so I missed a bunch of camps and tournaments. Then this summer I was invited to play in the U18 Nordic Championships, which was amazing. Our team played great together and I had a lot of fun. We also won the whole thing which was great and that is my favorite memory connected to it! I think the future is bright as we have a lot of talent, here.
PI: When it came down to it, what were the most important factors in your college decision?
WB: Team culture, playing style, and staff, but also academics of course as it’s important to have a career after basketball. Since I’m a big guy, I need a team that plays basketball in a way that fits me!
PI: Who did you turn to for guidance throughout the process? What advice did they share with you?
WB: Both my dad and Brandon Goble have helped me a lot throughout this difficult decision. Both have been really helpful and wise throughout it all. I’ve talked a bit with friends that go to college themselves about the schools and college in general…that has been helpful as well.
PI: Without further adieu, where will you be attending next fall?
WB: I’m committing to Purdue. Excited for the upcoming years and excited to be a BOILERMAKER! #BoilerUp 🚂
PI: Congratulations! What set Purdue apart? What made them different from the rest of your options?
WB: It was a really hard decision, but in the end I see myself developing the most and being able to call that place my home. Purdue’s culture is amazing and identical to my own values which made the choice a tad bit easier.
PI: What was Purdue’s most consistent message to you throughout the recruiting process? What did they try to convey?
WB: Purdue is the ‘Big Man U!’ They’ve got the necessary experience at developing great big men and they use them a lot, as well. They have what I need to succeed both on the court as well as off the court.
PI: What was the coaching staff’s reaction when you told them?
WB: They got extremely happy! I think we are both excited for the years to come.
PI: What is the Purdue program getting in William Berg?
WB: A kid that likes to work hard. I will always try my best at everything and try to please the team's needs as much as I can. Basketball-wise, they’ll get a versatile big that hustles and works hardest he can on both ends of the court.
PI: Lastly, do you have any message for the Boilermaker fans who are thrilled about your commitment?
WB: I think we will see great things and hopefully keep the great things they got right now going for my time there as well. I’m extremely excited to be a BOILERMAKER!!!