Foreign players in Coyotes’ basketball: different backgrounds, one team.
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Foreign players in Coyotes’ basketball: different backgrounds, one team.

The men’s basketball team welcomed three newly-recruited international players this season.

Joining Australian sophomore forward Matt Johns and Serbian redshirt freshman Simeon Jovic are freshmen Hunter Goodrick from Australia, Kruz Perrot-Hunt from New Zealand and Tasos Kamateros from Greece.

Brad Davidson, USD’s talent identification manager and the assistant coach for the Coyotes said the recruitment process for international students varies based on where they’re from.

Davidson met Perrot-Hunt’s former coach when he was playing professionally in the National Australian League. He later received recommendations from him and from another U.S. college coach who was tracking Perrot-Hunt’s performance. Davidson went and watched him play only to start the procedure to get him to the U.S. on a Visa shortly after.

The Coyotes recruitment team signed him earlier this season. Perrot-Hunt, the former top defensive player of the 2018’s Nike Asia Camp, is now the Coyotes’ point guard.

“I have seen his (Goodrick’s) progression. I watched him blossom into a good player,” Davidson said.

Davidson said the recruitment, in this case, was based on the constant positive feedback he kept on receiving from his coaches.

Unlike Goodrick and Perrot-Hunt who were recruited, Kamateros, after playing in the 2018 U18 European championship, joined the team based as a personal decision.

Davidson said he did so when USD’s athletic scholarships were no longer available.

“We knew he (Kamateros) was good but we didn’t have any scholarship open so he just walked-on,” Davidson said.

Jovic, the redshirt freshman and a forward player was already in the United States attending the Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas playing his senior season before joining the Coyotes.

He made the transition to college basketball after playing U-16 and U-18 Serbian National Teams.

“I have found that foreign players have been trained for skills and development, not just at a certain position,” head basketball coach Todd Lee said in an email interview with the Volante.

Lee also said there are other differences between players born and raised in the United States from those from other countries and those recruitments are typically successful.

“Foreign players are not controlled by AAU coaches and I have found that a lot of the foreign players are better prepared academically,” Lee said.

Hunter Goodrick and Kruz Perrot-Hunt said they are satisfied with Talent Identification Manager Davidson’s help with the process.

“The season has been long. It’s a good change I think, especially the scenery,” Perrot-Hunt said. “It’s very different, being from a different country. And also being on the road so much [and] getting to play in different cities, which is very cool”