2005-2006 (True Freshman): Spent true freshman season on practice squad, did not play in any games... Redshirted to retain eligibility.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Pohjols-Tapiola High School in Espoo, Finland... Graduated in 2005.
INTERNATIONAL: Played for Finnish under-20 national team in summer 2005... Averaged 14 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Finnish Junior National Team at the 2004 Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany... Finnish coaches compare his play to a young Hanno Mottola (former Utah Ute and Atlanta Hawk), arguably best Finnish basketball player of last 20 years... Referred to as top international signee of 2005 not playing in U.S. by Chris Johnson of HoopScoop.com... A top-50 signee if he played high school basketball in the U.S. according to HoopScoop.com... Rated a top-20 international NBA prospect for age group by DraftExpress.com.
PERSONAL: Full name is Jari Antero Vanttaja (pronounced YAH-ree VAHNT-tah-yah)... Born Aug. 15, 1986, in Oulu, Finland... Son of Esa and Anita Vanttaja... Majoring in studio art.