Salt Lake City — After a few departures from the team, Utah basketball added a new player to its roster Monday.
The Utes signed 6-foot-7 forward Norbert Thelissen, a native of 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, to join the team this fall, though he won't be eligible to play until the fall of 2021 due to NCAA rules. Thelissen was previously with Heroes Den Bosch, and had two years of international play, including an appearance in the FIBA U20 European Championships.
"Norbert’s combination of experience, skill, athleticism and high basketball IQ really stood out to us,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said in a statement. “We are very excited and grateful for his belief in our program and decision to play college ball rather than the professional route in Europe."
Andy Hill, one of Krystkowiak's assistants, recruited Thelissen.
"We hate to lose Norbert in our organization,” Roel Van de Graaf, sports director for Heroes Den Bosch, said in a statement. “He was an amateur but always acted as a professional on and off the court. He has reached his potential and the Utah coaching staff and Andy Hill in particular did a great job in informing Norbert and his family.
"The style of play where the kids share the ball and create options for each other is a style Norbert is used to at Heroes Den Bosch. Again, we hate to see him go but we are proud he will be joining the University of Utah."
Following Utah's exit from the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, the team lost starter Both Gach to the NBA Draft process in an exploratory role. But Gach later decided to transfer to Minnesota in May. In June, Utah released 2020 signee Caleb Lohner from his National Letter of Intent, and he later signed with Utah's rival BYU.
The Utes, however, got some good news earlier this month with the team's leading scorer, Timmy Allen, announced his decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft process and return to the University of Utah for his junior season.