Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Elias Valtonen, a 6-foot-6 wing from Helsinki (Finland) Basketball Academy, committed to Arizona State over Illinois on Friday.
“One reason was the coaching staff,” Valtonen told Scout.com. “I like their style of play and how they play quick up and down basketball. I think I can get better as a guard there.”
Playing for Finland in the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championship, he averaged 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. At the U17 World Championship that year, he averaged 14.1 points and 4.4 rebounds a game against his age group.
“Elias bring great size at 6-6 (without shoes) to ASU’s perimeter,” Valtonen’s mentor and coach Hanno Möttölä told ZAGSBLOG. “He is a good shooter and has chance to develop into really good one. He has well rounded game with outside shot, dribble drive and post-up game. I think he will learn a lot from Coach [Bobby] Hurley and fit their 3-guard offense really well.”
Valtonen is Arizona State’s first pledge in 2018.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.