Miro Little commits to Baylor, joining international pipeline

Top international basketball prospect Miro Little has committed to Baylor in the Class of 2023, he told ESPN on Friday.

"Playing college basketball, especially in the NCAA tournament, has been a dream of since I was very young," Little told ESPN. "Going to Baylor was a really clear decision for me. It's a real family in Waco, and I 100 percent want to be a part of it. The positive mindset of the whole staff really stood out. They've proved that they know what to do with European players, and they are proven winners."

Little chose Baylor over a group of schools that included Villanova and Indiana. He visited all three in January.

The 6-foot-4, 17-year-old guard is considered one of the most promising European high school prospects committing to the college route. He had an outstanding showing at last summer's U18 Nordic Championship, posting 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 23 minutes per game, and made his debut with the Finnish senior national team in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in February, becoming the youngest player to represent his country at the senior level in 25 years.

Little is in the midst of a productive season with Helsinki Basketball Academy in Finland's second division, averaging 21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.7 steals while shooting 38% from 3. His production exceeds anything posted by a player his age in that country, even Lauri Markkanen, who went on to star at Arizona before becoming a top-10 draft pick.

Little recently tested himself against other European players in his age group at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Patras, Greece, in late March, averaging 23 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

Little's parents played college basketball at Division II Mercy College in New York. His father, La Trice, is from Brooklyn, while his mother, Kati Packalen, is from Finland. They immigrated to Packalen's home country after college, with La Trice playing professionally in the domestic league.

Baylor has had success with international players, especially of late. Polish forward Jeremy Sochan is a projected lottery pick after one season in Waco, Texas, and big men Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua from Cameroon and Flo Thamba from Congo played essential roles in winning a national championship in 2021. Highly touted Nigerian big man Joshua Ojianwuna from the NBA Global Academy in Australia will be the next international player in line when he enrolls at Baylor this summer.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.