FORT MYERS, Fla. – On the heels of a successful foreign tour to the Bahamas and with the start of the 2012-13 season rapidly approaching, second-year FGCU head coach Andy Enfield announced the signing of German guard Alexander Blessig (Berlin, Germany/Theodolinden-Gymnasium) to a grant-in aid on Wednesday.
A native of Berlin, Blessig will join the Eagles immediately with fall classes starting up on Monday and will have four years of eligibility with the Green and Blue. The 6-foot-3 guard spent the 2011-12 season playing for ALBA Berlin II basketball club in Germany and is the third international player on next year’s roster.
“Alexander’s ability to push the ball, see the floor and make the open shot will fit well in our up-temp style of play,” said Enfield, who recently coached FGCU to a 3-0 record during its foreign tour in the Bahamas in which it averaged 111 points. “Alexander is an excellent addition to our team and we are very excited about adding him this late.”
A member of Germany’s U-16 National Team that played in the 2009 Euro Championships in Lithuania, Blessig averaged 3.6 points, 1.2 assists and 1.1 rebounds over 20 contests with ALBA Berlin last year. ALBA Berlin teammate Leon Tolksdorf will be a freshman at UConn this season as well.
Blessig played the two previous seasons with the FC Bayern Muenchen II club. At the 2009 European Championships, Blessig played in all eight games, highlighted by his 12 points, five rebounds and five assists in a win over Latvia. Germany went 3-5 in the tournament.
Blessig is the third member of FGCU’s freshman class, but the fifth newcomer that will join the team. Joining Blessig as eligible freshmen in 2012-13, is point guard DaJuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy), who started for the West Team in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game, and 6-foot-9 freshman forward Leonard Livingston (Upper Marlboro, Md./Patterson School). Marquette transfer Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy/Marquette) and 6-foot-10 Georgia Tech transfer Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS/Georgia Tech) will have to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA four-year transfer rules.
FGCU returns 85 percent of its scoring, 84 percent of its rebounding and 92 percent of its assists from the 2011-12 squad that won a program Division I record 15 games and advanced to the A-Sun championship as the No. 6 seed by defeating No. 3 seed USC Upstate and No. 2 seed and host Mercer.
In the Bahamas from August 8-10 playing in the Summer of Thunder tour, the Eagles went 3-0, averaging 111 points per game with 34 three-pointers. FGCU’s three games in three-day schedule featured a 110-95 win over the Commonwealth Bank Giants on Aug. 8, a 102-69 triumph over the Mailboat Cybots on Aug. 9 and a 121-78 victory over the Grand Bahamas All-Stars to finish off the trip on Aug. 10.