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Bucknell adds 3 newcomers to men’s basketball team

Bucknell men’s basketball coach Nathan Davis has announced the signing of three additional newcomers for the 2022-23 season. Jack Forrest, a 6-feet, 5-inch guard from Lower Merion, will be joining the Bison as a transfer from Saint Joseph’s, and coming out of the high school ranks are 6-11 center Noah Williamson from St. Thomas More School in Connecticut and 6-9 forward Ruot Bijiek from Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

This trio joins Josh Fulton and Brady Muller, who inked National Letters of Intent during the early signing period last November.

“We are excited to welcome Jack, Noah, and Ru to the team,” said Davis. “This class will improve our overall talent level. We are looking forward to getting to work with them and seeing how quickly they can contribute. We will have a nice blend of experience and youth, and I anticipate some very competitive practices as we prepare for the season.”

Forrest is a 2019 graduate of Lower Merion High School. He earned third-team All-State honors and was the Central League MVP as a senior. He was a three-time All-Main Line Team selection who graduated with 1,209 career points. Forrest helped lead Lower Merion to three Central League championships, three District 1 final four appearances, and an undefeated league record in 2019.

Forrest attended Columbia University in 2019-20 and appeared in 27 games with five starts for the Lions as a freshman. He was the team’s third-leading scorer averaging 8.9 points along with 3.3 rebounds per game. Forrest scored 23 points on 10-for-15 shooting against Cornell on the way to an Ivy League Rookie of the Week citation.

“Jack is an experienced player who has been successful at a high level in the Atlantic 10 and Ivy League,” said Davis. “He understands how to play at both ends of the floor and has good physicality in his game.”

Bijiek is a native of Waukee, Iowa who graduates this spring from Valley High School. This past season he earned second-team Class AAAA all-state and first-team All-Conference honors while leading his team to a 21-4 record and a league title. Bijiek set a school record with a 40-point game, and he also faced high-level competition on the AAU circuit with the OSA Crusaders and a stint with Bradley Beal Elite.

“Ru is long and athletic with very good skills,” said Davis. “He can put the ball on the floor or step out and shoot the three. He plays hard all the time and is a guy who wants to come in and compete. He has the potential to be a very good player for us.”

Williamson brings some international flavor to the team, as he was born and raised in Riga, Latvia, and played for the Latvian U16, U18, and U19 national teams. Williamson also spent time with the Kristaps Porzingas Basketball Academy. He attended high school at Riga State Gymnasium No. 1 before coming to the United States for a postgraduate year at New England power St. Thomas More School under longtime coach Jere Quinn.

“Noah brings great size and can play both the 5 and 4,” said Davis. “He is a skilled player who developed his game overseas and then had a productive year at St. Thomas More. He is going to come in and compete, and he has a great chance to be a big part of our team’s success moving forward.”

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