One of England’s most coveted recruits, Ethan Price, wasn’t interested in the glitz and glamour of high-major college basketball.
Southern California and Georgia Tech were among the schools pursuing the 6-foot-10 Price, whose versatility was on full display with Great Britain’s U-18 national team at FIBA tournaments.
He could have enjoyed college life on the beach, too, at Florida Gulf Coast University.
But Price, a two-time league MVP who averaged 23.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.7 blocked shots and was also a threat from 3-point range for his club team, was more interested in the rapport he developed with Eastern Washington University.
EWU coaches had been pursuing Price for nearly two years when he signed with the Eagles last month.
A bond from across the pond.
“EWU was the first (Division I school) to recruit me,” Price said in a thick English accent. “They made me a priority.”
Milly Knowles, a member of EWU’s women’ team from England, played with Price’s sister, Maya Price, a forward at NCAA Division II Eckerd (Florida) College.
Knowles was also credited with the recruiting assist of the player EWU head coach Shantay Legans dubbed “one of the most talented players we’ve ever signed.”
“I didn’t want to get caught up in the hype of things, the fancy stuff bigger schools can offer,” Price said. “At the end of the day, you’re going to play ball with your coaches, teammates and get better.”
Another relationship – his girlfriend is Gonzaga recruit and English standout Esther Little – will help ease the transition.
Price and Little, a 6-2 forward, are both members of Ipswich Basketball Academy national teams in Great Britain but live an hour apart.
Price said he was leaning toward EWU before he began dating Little, but having her roughly 20 minutes away in Spokane is a bonus.
“It will be nice to have a sense of home near us if we need it,” Little said.
Little committed to Gonzaga in March.
“I would have gone to EWU if it was in Florida, didn’t matter where it was,” Price said.
Little, recruited by Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Marquette and several other schools, went on her recruiting visit to Gonzaga in September 2019.
She’s happy with her choice and believes Price made the right choice, too.
“Ethan had his main priority, the relationship with the coaches and the playing style,” Little said. “If he went to a bigger school, he possibly wouldn’t have an opportunity until his junior year.”
EWU’s 2021 recruiting class has size with the addition of athletic 6-7 wing Skylar Wilson (Aurora, Colorado) and the young Eagles – a team with two seniors – also added 6-2 guard Mason Landdeck (St. George, Utah), who starred in Washington at Kittitas and Zillah before playing his final season in Utah.
Legans said Price’s inside-outside game will translate well in the Eagles’ wide-open system.
“He can play any position on the floor,” Legans said. “And he sees the bigger picture and has seen the good players we’ve produced over the years.”
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