WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (BVM) – This fall, William Berg will become the fifth 7-footer to play for the Purdue Boilermakers over the last six years. The other four are AJ Hammons, Matt Haarms, Isaac Haas and current Boilermaker, 7-foot-4 Zach Edey.
In fact, it was that history of having big men that led the 7-foot-2 Berg to commit to Purdue over other programs that were recruiting him.
“Purdue is the ‘Big Man U!’” Berg said in an interview with Pro Insight. “They’ve got the necessary experience at developing great big men and they use them a lot, as well. They have what I need to succeed both on the court as well as off the court.”
The Swedish big man, also known as the ‘Swedish Giant’ was right when he said Purdue uses its height a lot. Last season, the Boilermakers used Edey and 6-foot-10 senior Trevion Williams often but rarely together.
Berg committed to Purdue back in December. The center from Stockholm, Sweden was being recruited by fellow Big Ten school Illinois, who was trying to replace its own 7-footer Kofi Cockburn, as well as Iona, and Utah State.
— William Berg (@Wille_Berg) December 10, 2021
In his announcement via Twitter, the Swedish giant said that playing college basketball has always been a dream of his. It is a dream come true for Berg and possibly a huge pick up for Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter, who is developing a reputation for going after the biggest of the bigs.
“We’re excited to add Will to our 2022 signing class,” Painter said in a press release. “Will has really developed the last couple years and can play facing the basket and with his back to the basket. He has put a lot of work into his game and his best basketball is ahead of him. He has a bright future at Purdue.”
Highlights from @Wille_Berg’s last game.
✅: Run the floor.
✅: Hit the 3.
✅: Outlet pass.
✅: Catch ball in traffic.
— Purdue Men's Basketball (@BoilerBall) April 13, 2022
Berg has been developing well in Sweden, playing in the U18 Nordic Championships and for the Swedish U16 and U18 National Teams. He possesses good ball handling skills for a 7-foot-2 big man and shooting range from well outside the paint. Berg also has power to go with his height, even breaking a backboard during a training session on Christmas day.
— William Berg (@Wille_Berg) December 25, 2021
Although it may not happen a lot this season, there is a chance that Purdue basketball rolls out lineups that feature both 7-foot-2 Berg and 7-foot-4 Edey. It’s a terrifying thought for other Big Ten teams and a big man combination that could only be rivaled by the NBA’s Kristaps Porzingis (7-foot-3), Boban Marjanović (7-foot-4) and Tacko Fall (7-foot-6).
Berg’s commitment to Purdue also adds another Swedish player to Division I basketball, a list that is small but growing.
“The amount of Swedish kids going to play college basketball is increasing but still not a lot,” Berg said to Pro Insight. “So I’m extremely thankful that all the work that I’ve put in is being noticed.”
The list now includes three players from the Class of 2022: Berg, Eastern Washington‘s Sebastian Andersson and four-star Wake Forest commit Bobi Klintman. They will join Arizona’s Pelle Larsson, a former teammate of Berg’s, as Swedish DI basketball players.