As cold as it is in Sweden during majority of the year, not everyone plays hockey. They are quite impressive in other sports as the Swedish soccer teams are highly ranked in the world. The men’s team is ranked 14th in the latest FIFA rankings while the women are fifth. On the ice, the men’s team is ranked third in the latest IIHF rankings while the women are fourth.
They aren’t as impressive on the basketball court, but one of the best players to come from Sweden just happens to play for a sports town known for star players from Sweden. Standing at 6’10” and 232 lbs., Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko has made a name for himself in the Motor City. He’s the second Swedish-born player in the NBA after Miles Simon in 1999. Jerebko was drafted in 2009 by the Pistons and was very impressive, averaging nine points and six rebounds in 28 minutes of action in 80 games. He was in the starting lineup in 73 of those in season where he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Just like the NHL in 2004-05, the NBA is currently in a lockout. And just like the NHL then, games are being canceled and there is a high chance there would be no NBA season. Jerebko missed all of last season when he suffered a injury to his Achillies’ tendon in the preseason. He is currently healthy and ready to go back on the court but because of the lockout he has to occupy his time in other fashions. Assuming he’s bored of IKEA [because there’s only so much you can do there], he took the ice for a morning skate with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s been spotted at games several times since he’s been in Detroit, as there are seven Swedes on the 25-man roster. He’s made friends with several of them, including Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall lent Jerebko some of his gear when the basketball player took to the ice. He didn’t look too bad when shooting the puck, but he still needs to work on his skating and balance.
Jerebko won’t be giving up his day job anytime soon, but if he were to Jerebko would be the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. He would be one inch taller than 6’9″ Zdeno Chara. Check out this NHL.com video from earlier this week when Fox Sports Detroit caught Jerebko skating with the Red Wings.