Division I recruit Gabriel Sularski starts classes at Lemont after Benet transfer. ‘Ready to go for the summer.’

Lemont coach Rick Runaas has heard a lot about Gabriel Sularski, the star sophomore forward who transferred this week to Lemont from Benet.

In the last few days, Runaas finally had a chance to watch Sularski play.

“I’ve probably seen him less than anybody I’ve talked to,” Runaas said. “During the season, I’m so focused on our own team and our opponents, so not having played them, I never saw him play. Over the weekend, I had a chance to take a look at some film and see what he is.

“I think what’s very exciting about Gabe is he’s going to fit in with what we do, and we won’t have to change a lot. We like to move the ball, get up and down and find open shooters, and I think that’s what his game is about.”

Two years ago in the offseason, Lemont lost one of the top sophomore recruits in the state when Nojus Indrusaitis transferred to St. Rita.

This time, Lemont is adding one of the mostly highly regarded young players in Illinois.

Sularski is rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 72 player in the nation for the 2026 class by Rivals. He has 11 Division I offers, including from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Purdue and Tennessee.

Last season, Sularski averaged 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists for Benet (27-7).

“We like guys who can do different things, and he seems to be a versatile player,” Runaas said of Sularski. “It’s no secret that with better players, coaches are going to value versatility.

“That certainly seems to be something he brings to the table.”

A longtime Lemont resident, Sularski began attending his hometown high school on Monday.

“I got a chance to talk to him a bit after school,” Runaas said. “I told him this will all die down in a couple days and the rest of the school year will go pretty fast and then we’ll get ready for summer basketball.

“That’s the thing I’m most happiest about is that if the family was going to make a decision like this, they did it now so he can be enrolled properly and ready to go for the summer.”

Lemont won a Class 3A sectional championship in 2021-22 and reached a sectional final the following season. This past winter, Lemont went 19-12 and lost to Marian Catholic in a regional final.

With the program’s recent history of success and some key players returning — led by guard Alanas Castillo, who will be a senior — Runaas hopes there won’t be too much pressure on Sularski.

“We hope we have a strong enough culture in our own program that nobody’s viewing him as coming in to be a savior or anything like that,” Runaas said. “I certainly don’t think he thinks that, and I’m certainly not looking at it that way.