Illini add Belgian forward Bosmans-Verdonk

Illini add Belgian forward Bosmans-Verdonk

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois men's basketball team continues to get bigger, both in size and in numbers.

Belgian forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk announced Saturday on Instagram that he has signed with the Illini, making him the third member of Illinois' 2019 class.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound addition joins 7-foot freshman Kofi Cockburn — who arrived on campus last week — and big man Bernard Kouma, who signed with Illinois on May 30 after some anticipation.

"A big (shoutout) goes to my teammates, coaches and everyone else that played a part in my personal development," Bosmans-Verdonk said in an Instagram post. "More importantly, I want to thank my family and in particular my parents and wonderful brother for being my biggest support.

"With this being said, I am truly blessed to announce that I've signed with the University of Illinois."

Illinois coach Brad Underwood's penchant for adding international players also continued with Bosmans-Verdonk, a Lommel, Belgium native.

All three newcomers in the class hail from outside the United States originally, as Cockburn is a Kingston, Jamaica native and Kouma originated in N'Djamena, Chad, prior to a prep career in Northfield, Mass., and later Queens, N.Y.

The around-the-world trend isn't a new one, either. Last season's breakout star — freshman big man Giorgi Bezhanishvili — grew up in Rustavi, Georgia, before moving to Vienna, Austria as a teenager.

Meanwhile, Samba Kane (Dakar, Senegal) and Andres Feliz (Guachupita, Dominican Republic) are also among returning players who call a country outside of the United States home.

Illinois still has one scholarship available for the 2019-20 season.