One of the tallest teams in the NCAA added even more height Tuesday when Szymon Zapala of Poland signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Utah State.
Zapala, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, helped the Polish national team reach the final of the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championships. He averaged 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in the tournament. Nationally, he led the Trefl Sopot to the U20 Polish Cup, garnering MVP honors.
While Zapala brings all-around size, he isn’t the tallest player on the Aggies’ roster. Fellow Pole Kuba Karwowski, a senior center, checks in at 7-2 and 220 pounds. Redshirt sophomore Trevin Dorius of Wasatch High in Heber City is 7-0, 240 and senior center Klay Stall checks in at 6-10, 245. Neemias Queta, one of the stars of the Aggies’ postseason run this spring who has said he will return to USU for his junior season rather than declare for the NBA draft, is also a 7-0, 245-pound center.
“Szymon has the unique combination of being an absolute warrior on the floor and a borderline nuclear physicist in the classroom,” Aggies coach Craig Smith said in a press release. “Szymon is 6-11 and 240 pounds, and possesses great skill, physicality, and has a high IQ for the game. He has played at an extremely high level, representing the Polish national team. He has also been very well coached in Poland. Above all, he is a tremendous person with a great attitude that leaves a positive impression on everyone that he is in contact with.”
The Aggies lost Sam Merrill, Abel Porter and Diogo Brito from a team that won the Mountain West Conference tournament championship in March, a week before the NCAA halted play for the coronavirus.