ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Oakland University men's basketball team continues to add to its already highly-touted 2008-09 recruiting class as Ilija Milutinovic (7-0, 255) has signed to play for the Golden Grizzlies next season, announced head coach Greg Kampe on Wednesday. The recruiting class is now up to five and has talented players at every position.
"Not only is this a significant recruit because not only is he potentially a great player, but if it works out for him at Oakland University then it opens the door for us to recruit internationally," said Kampe. "There is a lot of hype with him and we have never had this much hype about a recruit before. He turned down six figures to play professionally in Serbia because he wants to go to the NBA.
"He is no doubt the most skilled big man Oakland has ever gotten, but at the same time that does not make you a great player. He still has a lot to learn and a lot to do. He is very comparable to Darko (Milicic) and everybody knows that Darko needed work. So he (Ilija) has decided to come to school and work at his game and he has the potential to be the best player to ever play at our level."
Milutinovic, a 7-0 center from Nis, Serbia, spent last season at Milestone Christian Academy where he led them to the National Christian School Athletic Association (NSCAA) Varsity Division National Championship, scoring 14 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in the title game. Prior to Milestone, Milutinovic attended Worcester High School in Worcester, Mass., receiving his diploma.
"Just because he is this great skilled athlete does not mean that he is going to walk on to this campus on the first day and transform us in to a nationally ranked team," said Kampe. "He's got a big learning curve, but the great thing about it is that the potential is there."
At 255 pounds, Milutinovic has the size to go along with the height. He was a member of the Serbia and Montenegro's Under-18 National Team and competed in the 2006 Albert Schweitzer Tournament, in Mannheim, Germany (one of the top tournaments for U-18 players), in which team came in third. He averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks and took part in the 2006 ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J.