Arkansas adds Finland’s Pannanen to women’s hoops recruiting class

By Razorbacks Communicationms
on 2024-05-06 18:40 PM

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas women’s basketball head coach Mike Neighbors has signed Finland National Team player Pinja Pannanen, as announced on Monday. Pannanen is the fifth signee ahead of the 2024-25 season, third in this period.

Pinja Pannanen | F | 6-2 | Finland | Jyväskylä Basketball Academy

#SigningStories, as told by Arkansas women’s basketball head coach Mike Neighbors

Trends in NCAA women’s basketball traditionally mirror what is happening globally in the game. The infusion of international players hit the NBA in early 200s. Now, you can argue that currently four of the top five players in the league are born and developed internationally.

While we will always build our roster around Arkansas recruits and SEC footprint recruits, we will be complimenting them with players that are from the globe.

Pinja Pannanen is the latest addition to our roster that illustrates this trend. As a member of the Finnish U16 and U18 teams, Pinja caught our eye with her versatility and size. She will transition quickly to speed and physicality of the SEC because she played against top competition worldwide from an early age.

Our relationship with Yohanna Araya-Brooks helped us facilitate connection to her and her family.

We done 100s if not 1,000s of Zooms since COVID, but our Zoom with Pinja and her family was like none other I’ve ever been a part of. She was prepared. We have been researched. She asked amazing questions. We have ben vetted. It’s easy to see why Finland is consistently rated in top of global education systems.

It never ceases to amaze me how different every recruit’s story is. Each with unique beginnings, middles and ends.

Help us welcome Pinja to the United States, to Arkansas and to our university.


Plays for the Finnish National Team

Represented her national team in 19 games, playing in the Finnish WU16, WU18 and WU20 national teams

Earned Nordic Championship gold medals from 2021 and 2023

Represented her country at the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship, playing in five games

A regular starter for Forssan Alku, a Finland- Korisliiga team during the 2023-24 season. The Naisten Korisliiga is the highest women’s league in Finland

Coming off having averaged 5.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game with a 41.1 percentage from the field and a 76.5 percent clip from the free throw line with Forssan Alku

Logged a season-high 15 points off a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc with five rebounds in the win over Kouvot

(Last updated: 2024-05-06 18:40 PM)