All-State and TNT Player of the Year Bogdan Bliznyuk Signs With Eagles
Formerly from the Ukraine, Todd Beamer senior comes to Eastern after historic high school season
Story on Bliznyuk by KING TV
Story on Bliznyuk in the Federal Way Mirror
--Photo courtesy of Federal Way Mirror
Todd Beamer High School senior Bogdan Bliznyuk has signed a letter of intent to attend Eastern Washington University and play basketball for the Eagles, EWU head coach Jim Hayford announced Wednesday (May 14).
Pronounced “Bawg-dun Bliz-nook,” the 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward earned first team All-State accolades and Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year honors after averaging 19.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocked shots per game. Formerly from the Ukraine, Bliznyuk helped Todd Beamer to a fifth-place finish at the State 4A Championships this past March.
“Bogdan is an excellent addition to our roster,” said Hayford. “He’s a skilled player who can play multiple positions. He’s as an accomplished player in terms of honors and recognition received that we’ve had here since probably signing Rodney Stuckey, Marc Axton and Alvin Snow – some of our all-time great Eastern players. It’s great to sign a really good in-state talent who fits our style of play. We’re excited to have him here the next four or five seasons.”
As a senior, he was named to the 2014 Associated Press Class 4A All-State team, and was a second team All-State choice by the Seattle Times. He was the South Puget Sound League South Division Player of the Year and a first-team all-league selection.
Bliznyuk helped lead the Titans to their first-ever SPSL South Division regular season title, as well as its first West Central/Southwest Bi-District championship in 2014. He had a career-best 32 points during a win over Federal Way at the district tournament as Todd Beamer advanced to the state tournament for only the second time in school history. The Titans finished the season 22-6 overall and 15-1 in the SPSL.
He was also a three-point shooting threat for Todd Beamer, making 54-of-110 for 49 percent as a senior. Overall, he made 173-of-346 shots from the field for 50 percent, and 90-of-103 free throws for 87 percent. Early in the year he made 6-of-8 3-pointers and 11-of-15 overall for 28 points in an 83-55 win over Bethel.
As a junior, Bliznyuk averaged 15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game to earn the first of two team MVP honors. He made 30-of-58 3-point shots (52 percent) that season, and 49 percent of his shots overall and 81 percent of his free throws. Todd Beamer finished the season 18-8 overall and 11-5 in league play.
Following the completion of the season, he led the Washington team in scoring with 29 points and 11 rebounds at the prestigious Northwest Shootout Hillsboro, Ore., on April 26, 2014. Although his team lost 127-114 to Oregon, he finished 11-of-23 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Personal: Bliznyuk was born March 31, 1995, in Lutsk, Ukraine. He was less than 2 years old when his father, a truck driver, died in an accident. Their mother moved them to Federal Way five years later to be closer to family. His older brother, Dima, and his mother, Lyudmila, helped raise Bogdan, while also caring for his grandmother. Born with a gap in his upper jaw, he has had multiple surgeries after moving to the United States, included transferring bone from his hip. His most recent jaw surgery kept him out of half of his summer AAU season in 2013. He wears a size 14 1/2 shoe. He intends to major in business or marketing at Eastern.