BYU added some international flair to its 2019 recruiting class with the signing of 6-foot-11 Chinese big man Shengzhe Li.
Li is from Shanghai, China, and moved to California as a foreign exchange student last year at the start of his junior season. In his first season for Santa Margarita High School (Orange County, CA), he put up averages of 6.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 53.1 FG%, 66.7 FT%. Li really started to come on strong in the AAU summer circuit where he showed improvement from the start of junior year to become recognized as one of the premier low-post players in Southern California. He recently posted his first career high school double-double this past weekend.
Li’s connection to BYU is through Santa Margarita Head Coach Jeff Reinert. Reinert was a college basketball coach for nearly 25 years, including a stop in Provo as a BYU assistant from 1991-1994. After his time at BYU, he was the head coach at UVU from 1994-2002.
Li is likely a developmental prospect that will immediately come to BYU next season. He has a solid touch on his shot and has the size that offers some promise for him to develop into a starter down the road. Li probably won’t get significant minutes his freshman year, but he could develop into a rotation player during his sophomore or junior year and an eventual starter towards the end of his BYU career.
You can watch Li’s highlights below: