Block I

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois men's basketball roster added another piece to the 2019 recruiting class.

Illini head coach Brad Underwood announced Tuesday that Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk has signed a Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid with the University of Illinois.

Bosmans-Verdonk is a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward from Lommel, Belgium. He averaged 16 points, six assists and six rebounds this past season at KA Pegasus, a secondary school in Ostend, while shooting 50 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3-point range, and 78 percent from the free throw line. He helped lead the Pegasus Bulls, coached by Marteen Caron, to a fourth-place finish at the 2019 International School Sport Federation (ISF) World Schools Championship, held in April in Greece. It marked the first-ever semifinals appearance for a Belgian school in the tournament.

"Benjamin is a young man who we feel fits our system extremely well," Underwood said. "He is a versatile player with a high IQ and has good size and length at the wing/forward positions. He can handle it, shoots it out to the international line, and he can really pass. Benjamin is an outstanding student as well. He is very excited about the academic reputation we have here at the University of Illinois and being a part of a tremendous school in addition to joining our program."

Bosmans-Verdonk announced his intention to join the Illini on social media Saturday afternoon. 

"A big (shoutout) goes to my teammates, coaches and everyone else that played a part in my personal development," Bosmans-Verdonk said in an Instagram post. "More importantly, I want to thank my family and in particular my parents and wonderful brother for being my biggest support.

"With this being said, I am truly blessed to announce that I've signed with the University of Illinois."

Bosmans-Verdonk gained international experience in 2017 as well, competing for Belgium in the FIBA U16 European Championship. Prior to his decision to come to the United States for college and sign with the Fighting Illini, he also was a member of Kon BC Gistel Oostende in the Belgian Top Division I league.

Bosmans-Verdonk joins center Kofi Cockburn, a consensus top-50 recruit, and forward/center Bernard Kouma, in the Illini Class of 2019. All three members of the 2019 class are originally from outside the United States. Cockburn is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, and Kouma is from N'Djamena, Chad. 

The Illini now have one open scholarship.

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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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