Grand Forks Red River's Zach Kraft commits to UND

Kraft, a 6-foot-2 senior guard and Eastern Dakota Conference Senior Athlete of the Year, has committed as a walk-on for the Fighting Hawks.

Grand Forks Red River's Zachary Kraft (1) celebrates his buzzer beating game-winning basket against Minot during the North Dakota state boys high school basketball tournament quarterfinals at the Fargodome on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
David Samson/The Forum

GRAND FORKS โ€” A few weeks ago, UND men's basketball coach Paul Sather called Grand Forks Red River senior guard Zach Kraft.

"I woke up to his call, and I answered the phone all tired," Kraft said. "He said, 'Did I wake you up?' ... I jumped out of bed."

Sather wanted to offer Kraft a preferred walk-on spot for the Fighting Hawks and the two set up a visit.

On Tuesday night, Kraft called Sather to commit to UND. On Thursday, Kraft made his decision public with a post on social media.

"I had been talking to (UND) assistants, but when (Sather) called, it caught me off guard," Kraft said. "I've always been a (UND) fan and this is a dream come true."


Kraft, a 6-foot-2 North Dakota Class A all-state selection and Eastern Dakota Conference Senior Athlete of the Year, averaged 21.7 points per game as a senior.

Kraft, who led the Roughriders to a state runner-up finish, scored at least 20 points in all three state tournament games, including 31 points in a comeback win over Fargo Davies in the state semifinals.

Kraft, who hit a buzzer-beating shot to topple Minot in the state quarterfinals, added 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Kraft was receiving recruiting interest from programs in the NAIA, junior college and a few NCAA Division II schools. Minot State had made a scholarship offer.

"Now, I'm just enjoying the moment and moving on with it because I know there's a lot of work to be done," Kraft said.

Kraft will play in the Lion's All-Star basketball series in July but will begin summer workouts with the Fighting Hawks in June.

Kraft is the latest commitment in a busy recruiting stretch for UND. Earlier this week, UND landed Iowa State transfer Eli King and junior college transfer Deng Mayar.

Kraft joins a pair of former summer teammates as incoming high school seniors for UND next season. Bismarck Century's Anthony Doppler and Ryan Erikson played on an AAU team North Dakota Phenom with Kraft.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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