ORONO — University of Maine men’s basketball head coach Ted Woodward has announced that Kilian Cato, Noam Laish and Xavier Pollard have each signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Maine in the fall and play for the men’s basketball team.
“We are very excited about our incoming class,” Woodward said in a press release. “They all address some needs that we have on our team, and are all very capable leaders for our team’s future.”
Cato, a 6-foot-7 forward from Espoo, Finland, averaged 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds for Finland in the 2010 FIBA Under-18 European Championships, including 17 points and six rebounds against the Czech Republic and 14 points and nine rebounds against Belgium. He shot 48.2 percent from the field and nearly 37 percent from long distance in the tournament. Cato also led his club team, Honka Akatemia, to the Under-19 Finnish Championship where he averaged 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
“Kilian gives us a legitimate shooting presence from the frontcourt. He is a tough, big player with great skill and high level production,” Woodward said.
Laish, a 6-1 guard from Timrat, Israel, scored 11.6 points and grabbed 2.5 rebounds per game for Israel at the 2010 Under-18 European Championships. He was second in 3-pointers made with 3.1 per game and fourth in 3-point percentage at 47.2 percent. Laish has been recognized as a top-50 European prospect for the 1993 (birth year) class and has a wealth of international playing experience.
“Noam is a playmaking guard who can play multiple positions, and is able to make plays off the dribble or with his superb shooting, and is a very tough defender at the guard position,” Woodward said.
Pollard, a 6-3 guard from Bronx, N.Y., played last season for Winchendon Prep and was recently named a New England Prep School Athletic Council All-New England honorable mention. He played his high school basketball for Suffield Academy (Conn.) where he averaged 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.6 steals per game and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
“Xavier is a natural scorer who is versatile enough to play any perimeter position. He is a gifted playmaker, he can drive and pass, shoots it, gets to the rim, draws fouls consistently and is a big strong perimeter force on defense and on the glass,” Woodward said.
The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to UMaine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.