MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho men’s basketball team secured the second piece of its signing class for next season with the addition of Arkadiy Mkrtychyan, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Portland, Ore., who originally hails from Moscow, Russia.
“Ark is in the lines of someone like Stephen Madison, he’s a multi-position guy who can play both forward spots, small and power forward,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “He has had extensive experience overseas. We saw him this summer and I really liked his ability to play around the basket and away from the basket, and he really fits into our system.”
Mkrtychyan played at the Academy of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii as a sophomore before transferring to Portland’s Columbia Christian HS where he had to sit out his junior season. He played AAU basketball for Inner City Portland Elite and competed in the 2011 U16 European Championships, where he averaged 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
“He played on one of the best AAU teams in the Northwest last year, and playing at that high of a level will obviously help him coming here,” Verlin said. “His international experience will help him as well and he has been very well coached at Columbia Christian, which will help his transition to Division I. He’s a hard-playing, physical guy. We’re excited to watch him play. After watching him in the summer we know he’s a quality guy who should come in and make an immediate impact.”
Mkrtychyan joins Colton (Wash.) High School’s Jake Straughan as Idaho’s early period signees.
“The things we’re excited about are his size, his ability, his ability to play multiple positions and getting another good, young high school player from the Northwest,” Verlin added.