Gophers basketball freshman Isaiah Ihnen represents Germany in U20 European championship

Isaiah Ihnen averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds during FIBA U20 European Championship.

by Nolan O'Hara

Gophers’ men’s basketball incoming freshman Isaiah Ihnen helped his native country, Germany, take third in the International Basketball Federation under-20 European Championship Sunday.

Ihnen, a four-star power forward and the No. 2 recruit out of Germany, committed to the Gophers back in April, but was waiting until the conclusion of the FIBA U20 to come to Minnesota.

Ihnen announced his arrival to campus Tuesday on Twitter saying, “I’ll finally be at the U in a few hours.” 

The 2019 FIBA U20 European Championship in Tel Aviv concluded Sunday after an eight-day stretch of games. In Germany’s seven games over that period, Ihnen averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds, but his best game came in Germany’s first game against Latvia. Ihnen finished with 11 points, four rebounds, an assist and a block. Although he wasn’t able to fully replicate his success from that first game, Ihnen was still able to demonstrate why he was such a highly sought-after recruit. 

Ihnen saw 20 minutes in Germany’s 73-65 victory against France in the third-place game. He scored 5 points and snagged a pair of rebounds. Germany finished third in the FIBA U20 behind runner-up Spain and champion Israel.

Last season, Ihnen played for the International Basketball Academy Munich, where he averaged just over 13 points and eight rebounds. This year, he’ll look to combine forces with other Gophers big men Daniel Oturu and Eric Curry, in filling the shoes of recently graduated forward Jordan Murphy. This past season, Murphy led the team in rebounds and was second on the team in scoring. 

Murphy’s absence will most certainly be felt this season, but perhaps a big man trio of Oturu, Curry and Ihnen will be able to fill the void left by the Gophers great.