Posted On: 05/1/18 7:15 PM
Dain Dainja – a sophomore 6-foot-8 center at Park Center High School in Minnesota – has earned three high major offers during the open period competing with Grassroots.
Richard Pitino offered the sophomore big last night and Prep Hoops caught up with Dainja to talk about this special moment.
“I think I have put in the time and the work for this offer from Minnesota,” Dain said. “I’m just glad they offered. I’m looking forward to taking a visit to Minnesota sometime soon. I think they have a great program, great facilities plus I know the assistant coaches very well.”
Richard Pitino has made Minnesota a priority when it comes to recent offers. He’s now offered four players from the 2019 class locally and four more from the 202o class of Minnesota talent. Add in the three local players coming to Minnesota in the 2018 class (Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur, Jarvis Omersa) and you can see the newly formed staff under Coach Pitino is working to make an impression.
Dain Dainja is the son of former Gopher Dana Jackson.
“Yes this offer really does mean a lot,” Dain said. “Growing up my dad would always tell me about Minnesota and how they played back then so getting a offer from them is special.”
Minnesota watched Dain play with Grassroots Sizzle several times in the past two weeks before deciding to offer. Grassroots Sizzle is a 17u team playing with a lot of young players and they’ve done a nice job improving last year’s team to this year’s .500 team.
Dainja is averaging 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a game shooting 46.3 percent on his 9-10 shots a game plus Dainja has made 63 percent of his foul shots.
“It’s been really good playing with Sizzle,” Dain said. “I’ve been learning a lot from my teammates and just been having fun.”
After speaking with Dainja on Monday night he picked up another high major offer (his third) as Bob Huggins extended a scholarship. Minnesota, Iowa, and West Virginia (the three high major offers) are among the teams showing Dain the most interest.
“I’m hearing the most from West Virginia, Baylor, UCLA, Clemson, Texas A&M,Wisconsin, Iowa State, Oregon, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Colorado,” Dain said in addition to the Gophers.
This winter in 23 games Dainja scored 12.9 points per game for Park Center High School.