Cal Basketball: Bears Land 7-Foot Center Lars Thiemann from Germany

Jeff Faraudo

The Cal basketball team just got deeper.

And bigger.

And more international.

Lars Thiemann, a 7-foot, 250-pound center from Germany, has committed to play for the Golden Bears this season. ESPN was first to report the news.

"I'm happy and proud to announce that I will join Cal next season," Thiemann told ESPN. "I'm incredibly excited to be a part of Mark Fox's very first recruiting class. I couldn't pass on the opportunity to attend such an academically prestigious university while playing college basketball at a level like the Pac-12.

“They recruited me harder than any other school and I can't wait to arrive on campus in Berkeley. I am ready to take the next step in my career.”

According to multiple sources, Thiemann visited the Cal campus this weekend. He also was being recruited by Saint Mary’s and Oregon State.

Although some sites list Thiemann at 6-foot-10, either way he will become the Bears’ tallest player. Cal’s only other center is 6-8 sophomore Andre Kelly.

Thiemann becomes the fourth player landed by Cal since Fox and his staff came on board two months ago. The Bears’ recruiting class is now six deep and includes five players with foreign roots.

Kareem South, a shooting guard and graduate transfer from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, is a native of Toronto, Canada. Forward Kuany Kuany played last season at Prolific Prep in Napa, but was born in South Sudan and raised in Australia.

Guard Dimitrios Klonaras is from Greece and December signee Joel Brown, a point guard, is from Toronto, Canada. The Bears’ other incoming player is forward D.J. Thorpe of Austin, Texas.

Thiemann, 19, plays for the German national team, and averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds for Leverkusen in the German NBBL U19 league.

According to ESPN, Thiemann also played in the German Pro B league, helping Leverkusen win the championship and promotion to the second division (Pro A) next season.

Thiemann was one of 18 players invited to try out for the German Under-20 team that will compete in the European Championships. The final roster will be determined later this summer.

Cal now projects to have 12 scholarship players next season after three starters — forward Justice Sueing, center Connor Vanover and guard Darius McNeill — all transferred.

(Click here for Cal's participation in the Al Attles Classic at Warriors' new venue)

Comments (2)
No. 1-1
Jeff Faraudo
Jeff Faraudo


Cal fans . . . tell us how much Mark Fox's recruiting efforts this spring have altered your expectations for what the Bears can do next season? Feeling any better about things? Or waiting to see what they look like on the court?

1 Reply


I am very excited to see the diverse blend of players that have come (and stayed) on board. While it was definitely disappointing to lose 3 of the top 6 scorers, stopping the bleeding and then getting players to commit was crucial. How quickly they develop will be interesting - as will the impact better coaching has, especially re: some potential X factors like Anticevich.