Freeburg standout make Division I basketball commitment

News-DemocratJuly 6, 2013 

Freeburg High School senior center Justin Diecker didn't wait around when it came time to making a decision on his college basketball career.

The 6-foot-9-inch, 230-pound Diecker recently made a verbal commitment to Division I Kennesaw State, a school near Atlanta that plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

"They think I can come in right away and make an impact," said Diecker, a three-year starter who averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game with 52 blocked shots as a junior for Freeburg (10-19). "I talked it over with my family and I decided just to commit. Even if I would have waited and gotten other offers, I still would have ended up going to Kennesaw. I really liked the campus and connected really good with the coaching staff when I went there."

Diecker recently visited the campus and as he said, came away impressed. He is playing with the St. Louis Eagles AAU team this summer, which he said has really helped develop his overall game.

"The past couple years I've gotten bigger and stronger and I've been working on post moves," said Diecker, who has added 10 pounds since the end of his junior season. "With the Eagles this summer, we play against the top kids in the country and it's brought my game to a whole other level. I'm a lot faster in a physical game."

The Owls are coached by Lewis Preston, a former Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State assistant who just completed his second season. Kennesaw State was 3-28 in 2011-12 and 3-27 last season.

The Atlantic Sun also produced NCAA Tournament Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast.

The other big men listed on the school's 2013-14 roster are 6-9 senior forward Andrew Osemhen and 6-10 Willy Kouassi along with 6-8 redshirt freshman forward Bernard Morena.

Diecker said he also visited Loyola of Chicago, Kent State, Wright State, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and South Dakota State.

Diecker's father, Scott Diecker, played basketball at New Athens High and also played in college.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or on Twitter @NormSanders

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