Finland’s best-known basketball player, Hanno Möttölä, coaches a programme for talented teenagers called Helsinki Basketball Academy, part of the Mäkelänrinne Sports High School, where the schedule helps players keep up in both academics and sports. In 2016 he began receiving inquiries from American colleges about one of the stars of the squad
Approaching the 213-centimetre (seven-foot) frame he would eventually grow into, Lauri Markkanen was already beginning to turn heads on the continent, but coaches from the University of Arizona were astonished when they saw the video Möttölä had sent them. They’d seen tall European players with good shots, but they’d never seen one of Markkanen’s height display such poise and precision.
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