Ich bin ein Deutscher, says Rochestie

TAYLOR ROCHESTIE

TAYLOR ROCHESTIE is taking a little slice of Pullman to Germany, and he's certain that Pullman will fit in perfectly. Rochestie, who concluded his stellar basketball career at Washington State last season, said Tuesday he has signed a one-year contract with the professional team of Gottingen, Germany.

Gottingen is a geographically isolated college town, just like Pullman. In addition, the basketball team is a relatively low-funded operation that has enjoyed recent success after years of struggling, so Rochestie figures he was made for Gottingen.

"I'm ready to go," Rochestie said by phone from his hometown of Santa Barbara, Calif. "I had a great experience at Washington State. I'm going to try to jam that all into one year in Germany."

Rochestie said he leaves Aug. 22. The scrappy point guard said Gottingen begins its international schedule in late September or early October, and the season could stretch into June with a long playoff run.

Gottingen tied for second in Germany's top league last season, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. Former Stanford point guard John Patrick coaches Gottingen. Patrick decided to pursue Rochestie after watching the ex-Cougar perform well in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month.

Rochestie, who recently concluded a stint with the Los Angeles Lakers' summer league team, said "seven or eight" Americans will join him in Gottingen, including former Stanford forward Taj Finger.

"There's more Americans than German locals, and the coach is American," Rochestie said. "That'll be great for my transition."

Gottingen has a population of approximately 130,000, including some 24,000 students -- slightly more than at WSU's Pullman campus -- who attend the renowned University of Gottingen.

"It's in the middle of nowhere," Rochestie said. "It'll be perfect for me -- just like Washington State. My parents thought it was tough to get to Washington State …"

IN OTHER BASKETBALL news, 6-5 Chelan High senior-to-be Joe Harris announced Monday that he has verbally committed to Tony Bennett and Virginia. Interestingly, Harris told CF.C in an interview Sunday evening that WSU and Virginia were deadlocked. He raved about both Ken Bone and Bennett. He also said he might not make a decision until after taking some official visits in the fall.

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