Former Miner Forward Kristian Sjolund Transfers to Portland
Updated on 4/23/21 with the news of Sjolund leaving to Portland
One day after new head coach Joe Golding was introduced to the El Paso community, forward Kristian Sjolund became the latest men's basketball player to enter the transfer portal as first reported by Verbal Commits.
Eight days later, the 3-point shooting big man has found his next home. Sjolund will join the Portland basketball team, as he posted on his Twitter page late Friday afternoon.
"As I prepare for the next chapter in my academic and basketball journey, I would like to thank God for opening the doors and showing me the way," he wrote on Twitter. "I would like to thank Coach Terry and his staff for welcoming me to UTEP, my teammates for the memories, and the UTEP fans and school staff for their support. I appreciate all the schools who recruited me for giving me the opportunity It means a lot in finding a new home to continue my career."
"I am making my decision today for my family and me. There is no better day to announce this than today, April 23, to honor my Aunt Christine Farley who passed away on this date a year ago. A wonderful Christian and athlete, she was always a big supporter of me. I am excited to announce my commitment to continue my career at University of Portland. Going back to where it all started. I am home. Go Pilots!"
Sjolund joins fellow forwards Efe Odigie, Bryson Williams and Tydus Verhoeven, along with Vuk Vulikic and Adam Hess as six Miners to enter the transfer portal following the 2020-21 season.
Sjolund, a 6-foot-8 junior from Oslo, Norway, joined the Miners as a transfer from Georgia Tech. He appeared in 24 games for the Miners this season, averaging 14.3 minutes off the bench. He scored 4.9 points per game on pretty exceptional shooting lines—48% from the floor and 47% from 3-point range. Sjolund was able to stretch the floor and knock down 3's at a noble clip.
His best outing came in UTEP's 75-60 loss to UAB where Sjolund went red-hot from 3-point range (5-for-5) and scored a season-high 15 points off the bench.
As a true freshman at Georgia Tech, Sjolund played 198 minutes in 21 games, scoring 63 points. He had two double-figure games in his first season—11 points against both Virginia Tech and Florida State.
The Houston product enrolled at Georgia Tech after a mighty prep career at Obra D. Tompkins High School—alongside fellow Miner point guard Jamal Bieniemy—where the squad made it to the Texas 6A state championship finals. He was rated a 3-star prospect on 247Sports and a 4-star prospect by ESPN (No. 17 ranked player in Texas) out of high school with over 40 Division I offers.