Galena High's 6-4 Derek Lorenzen has signed to play men's basketball with Southern Idaho Community College.
Southern Idaho is one of the nation's top programs and plays in one of the country's top conferences, the Scenic West in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association. Lorenzen, who was the Sierra Nevada sportswriters Northern Player of the Year, is an outstanding three-point shooter but Galena coach Tom Maurer said he'll receive the chance to develop other parts of his game at Southern Idaho. "He'll get a great grooming," Maurer said.
Maurer said Lorenzen could develop into a mid-major Division I player if he improves his ball handling, defense, strength and foot speed. There were some Division I schools who showed interest in Lorenzen, including Loyola of Baltimore, Santa Clara, Northern Arizona and Montana State.
Lorenzen could follow the same route as another one of Maurer's former players at Galena, Matt Siebrandt. If everything goes well for Lorenzen, he could leave Southern Idaho after just one year because he's an academic qualifier for a four-year school.
Academic qualifiers at junior colleges are are attractive to Division I schools because they could have three years of eligibility instead of the standard two. Siebrandt went to Southern Idaho for one year, then transfered to Kansas State where he played for three years.
Maurer said Lorenzen will have to work hard if he's going to earn a scholarship to a Division I school for three years. "He's going to have to do some blue collar work," Maurer said.
Another one of Maurer's players, point guard Chad Seidenstricker, could end up at an NAIA or Division III school. Among the schools looking at Seidenstricker are NAIA Alberston of Idaho, Division III Whitman of Walla, Walla, Wash., and NAIA Azusa Pacific.