Nebraska will be one man short on its trip to Italy next week.

Yvan Ouedraogo, one of the highest-ranked recruits in Nebraska basketball history, will be playing for his home country of France in the European U18 championships.

The tournament begins this weekend, and you’ll be able to watch it on the FIBA World’s YouTube channel.

France begins play at 6:30 a.m. CDT on Saturday against Slovenia. France will then play Greece on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CDT and Latvia at 8:45 a.m. CDT Monday.

Ouedraogo is the only player on Fred Hoiberg’s first roster not yet on campus. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound center/forward turned 17 in March and is one of the youngest players in the 2019 class. Despite his age, he was highly coveted out of Bordeaux at the end of the recruiting cycle. Ouedraogo chose Nebraska over Oklahoma State and TCU.

In 26 games in an amateur league in France this season, Ouedraogo averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. In the 2018 FIBA U16 European championships, he averaged 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds. During international play in 2018-19, Ouedraogo shot 47% from the floor, primarily inside the arc, but he did shoot 60% from 3-point range.

After the U18 championships, Ouedraogo will fly to Italy to join Nebraska during its four-game stint in the country. He’ll be unable to practice or play. Assistant Matt Abdelmassih, who recruited Ouedraogo to Nebraska, will be in Greece to watch Ouedraogo before the Huskers’ games in Italy.

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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