Maryland has made a late addition to their basketball roster, as European forward Ivan (pronounced EVEN) Bender has been added to the team, the school announced in a release. Bender, born in Bosnia but who plays on Croatian national teams, will be eligible to play immediately.
"We are excited to have Ivan join our program," Mark Turgeon said in the release. "He is a terrific young man who will be a great addition to our team."
Bender's commitment was first reported in August. At the time, he was expected to enroll in December, but then information on him went a bit silent, causing Maryland fans to wonder about his status (a lot). Now, he's finally here, two days before Maryland's fourth Big Ten game of the season.
Listed at 6'9 and 210 pounds, Bender is likely to play power forward at Maryland. The Terrapins currently start Jake Layman at the position, with Evan Smotrycz and Jon Graham in the rotation, so it's uncertain just how many minutes will be available for him this season. His brother, Dragan Bender (YES), is a big-time NBA prospect in Israel, and IMS reports Ivan was rehabbing with him there.
Here's what we wrote on him last time:
On RealGM (h/t bshock), he's listed as playing 17 games for Croatian club KK Split and 15 games for Croatian youth national teams. For Split, he scored 9.4 points per game with 5.1 rebounds and fairly solid shooting numbers. On the international level, he starred in the 2013 U-19 World Championships, averaging 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in three games.