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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Australian power forward Alex Toohey announces commitment to Gonzaga

Nov. 8, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 8, 2022 at 8:29 p.m.

Cheerleaders run the Gonzaga flags around the court before the Zags game with the Warner Pacific Knights during the first half of a NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Cheerleaders run the Gonzaga flags around the court before the Zags game with the Warner Pacific Knights during the first half of a NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

After a short hiatus, Gonzaga has made another recruiting splash in international waters.

The Bulldogs received a commitment from Australian power forward Alex Toohey of the NBA Global Academy on Tuesday, giving Mark Few’s program two commits in the 2023 recruiting class.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound prospect revealed his plans Tuesday afternoon to Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Joe Tipton of On3 Recruiting before posting his announcement on Instagram.

“This announcement would not have been possible without all the people who got me to this point in my life,” Toohey wrote in an Instagram caption. “Special shout-out to the NBA Academy, the Center of Excellence, my ACT State Team, and everyone at Marist for investing in my development on the court and person off of it. And, most importantly, thank you to my family, whose support has held me down through all the ups and downs.

“I’m extremely grateful to Gonzaga and their coaching staff for the opportunity to represent the navy and white and can’t wait to get to work next year!”

Toohey’s recruitment wasn’t widely publicized and the player’s 247Sports.com recruiting page doesn’t indicated any college offers, but suggests the player had interest from a variety of major programs such as Michigan, Villanova, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Iowa State, Davidson and Providence.

Saint Mary’s, historically GU’s top rival in the West Coast Conference and a program that’s developed a robust pipeline to Australia, was also in pursuit of Toohey, according to multiple reports.

“Gonzaga stood out with their history of winning and making international players better,” Toohey told Givony. “Being able to learn from a great coach in Mark Few will be special.”

Toohey took four official visits, to Gonzaga, Villanova, Michigan and Davidson, in October, per ESPN.com. The Bulldogs have one other commitment in the 2023 recruiting class, from four-star guard/forward Dusty Stromer of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in Southern California.

The 18-year-old told Travis Branham of 247Sports.com he was attracted to Gonzaga largely because of the program’s success developing international wings and forwards. That list includes recent standouts such as Domantas Sabonis, Rui Hachimura, Killian Tillie, Filip Petrusev and Przemek Karnowski.

Toohey becomes Gonzaga’s first foreign commit since assistant Tommy Lloyd – the man who spearheaded the program’s international recruiting efforts – left the Bulldogs to become the head coach at Arizona last season.

The Bulldogs don’t have an international player on the roster after Lithuanian forward Martynas Arlauskas left the team this offseason.

They haven’t signed a foreign-born prospect since the 2019 recruiting class featuring Arlauskas, Pavel Zhakarov and Oumar Ballo.

“I chose Gonzaga for their history of working with international players and big guards/wings along with the winning environment within the team,” he said. “Coaches and players alike everyone wants to improve and get better.”

Toohey, who’s at the Canberra-based NBA Global Academy, told ESPN he’ll spend time in the United States before enrolling at Gonzaga, with plans to play at the Tarkanian Classic and NBA Academy G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas next month.

There’s also a chance he’ll be invited to the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland in April.

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