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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

The new big man on campus

Freshman center Anton Jansson (left) played high school basketball for Golden State Prep in California. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/ THE HAWK

St. Joe’s men’s basketball newest addition, Anton Jansson, has arrived on campus a semester earlier than expected. The 6-foot-11 freshman from Stockholm, Sweden is looking to take full advantage of the unique opportunity, being able to practice with the team during the spring semester. Jansson said it will hopefully make his transition to the college game an easier one.

“It will definitely prepare me for next season,” Jansson said. “It will help me find my place. Practice at first was challenging, especially at this high level. Now I am pretty used to it.”

Head Coach Billy Lange, had high praise for Jansson. He credited Jansson’s aggressiveness and physical play as an immediate impact in practice. Lange also mentioned how Jansson has only been in the U.S. for a few months so allowing him to come in early will help him in the classroom as well as the court.

“The key to bringing him in early was acclimation,” Lange said. “Getting him acclimated to the school, his teammates, his coaches and the classroom. Getting him experience with the strength and conditioning coach will be beneficial. He’s an extremely smart person and brings a new set of talents to the team.”

His physical presence in practice has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

“He plays hard,” Redshirt junior Ryan Daly said. “He is the best screener we have. He can run the floor really well at his size too.”

Jansson picked St. Joe’s over schools such as Oregon State University and Elon University, because he believed he could best succeed here.

“St. Joe’s has a family atmosphere,” Jansson said. “I like the coaching staff. They all provide great energy. My teammates are really good too. I get along with them well. I think I can do well here.”

In terms of recruiting, Jansson flew onto St. Joe’s radar when a person who knew Assistant Coach Justin Scott recommended him. The Hawk’s assistant soon flew out to see him play, showed Lange and they both liked what they saw.

“The whole recruiting process with Anton went pretty quickly,” Lange said. “I am glad he is here. He will be a great player for us for years to come.”

Looking forward to next year’s team, Lange mentioned how he believes Jansson has the tools to step in and contribute.

“He brings in something we don’t have right now, which is a true 6-foot-11 center who has a low post game,” Lange said. “Once he really develops his low post game, he will be someone to watch out for. He can also stretch the floor like some of the guys we have. His ability to be very physical and be very mobile at his size makes him unique.”

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