UCLA lands commitment from European swingman in 2022 class
A month after coach Mick Cronin added to his coaching staff with the express interest in boosting the team’s international recruiting profile, UCLA has secured a commitment from a 2022 overseas wing.
Abramo Canka has committed to Cronin and the Bruins, according to Eurohoops. The 6-foot-7 wing played 16 games with L. Kuban in the Russian Superleague 1 this past season while also spending time with BC Nevėžis in the Lithuanian basketball league LKL.
2022 class 🇮🇹 Abramo Canka (2002) has committed to UCLA, sources told Eurohopes.
The 6'7 swingman, Stella Azzurra Rome product, played 16 games with L. Kuban, recording 10.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in Russian Superleague 1. He'll be part of the Italian U20 team in Podgorica. pic.twitter.com/LaizfUN1LC
— Eurohopes (@Eurohopes) July 12, 2022
Canka averaged 7.9 points and 3.6 boards for his LKL side. In 16 games with Lokomotiv Kuban, he averaged 10.9 points and 3.7 boards. He joins a 2022 class that features 5-star guard Amari Bailey, 5-star center Adem Bona, and 4-star point guard Dylan Andrews.
His addition to the team gives the Bruins an infusion of length on the wing. UCLA had a supersized collection of wings last season with Johnny Juzang, Jules Bernard, and Peyton Watson all standing at least 6-foot-7. They’ve all since left the program. In their absence, Cronin has a handful of sturdy defenders to build around, but the Bruins were looking like they’d be at least a little smaller.
How much Canka can contribute right away remains to be seen, but it’s instant return for a coaching staff that brought Ivo Simovic aboard last June to help expand UCLA’s international scope. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Simovic has worked with professional basketball clubs in both Spain and in Serbia.
He served as head coach and sports director for CB Espacio Torrelodones near Madrid, Spain. He helped the organization attract some of the top Spanish talent during an eight-year run with the program. Simovic served as the Torrelodones’ head coach in Liga EBA from 2007-09 before becoming the general manager and head coach of the organization’s U-18 and U-20 teams. Simovic spent the first seven years of his professional career as the head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Red Star in Belgrade.