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Syracuse Basketball Throwback Thursday: Kristof Ongenaet

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Ongenaet played two years at Syracuse after transferring from Cuesta College in California.

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Kristof Ongenaet was born in Ghent, Belgium where he would excel in basketball. Ongenaet would grow into a solid player in his youth, earning him a spot on the Belgium Junior National Team. The tall forward would move to the states in 2006 and play junior college ball at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. There, KO would eventually set the school's all-time record in rebounds, a skill that would carry over as a Syracuse Orange.

After playing two years at Cuesta College, Ongenaet would transfer to Syracuse despite having offers from Northwestern, Colorado and Kansas State. He played his first season in 2007 -- Syracuse would bring on six new players that season. Ongenaet brought a great deal of effort to the court which showed, especially on the boards. Ongenaet would continue to play better as the season went on and with a depleted Syracuse team, Ongenaet earned himself a starting position for the final 15 games. He would finish the season averaging 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in a disappointing season as Syracuse played in the NIT for back-to-back years.

Ongenaet would begin his senior season as a starter, but eventually Jim Boeheim favored a steady Rick Jackson, leaving KO to come off the bench. While his play wasn't up to par, Ongenaet wouldn't give up and came on strong down the stretch of the season. Ongenaet would provide a big performance in the six overtime game by pulling down nine important rebounds against a very tough rebounding Connecticut team. The Orange were out-rebounded by 13 in the six overtime game, so having KO on the glass was crucial. Syracuse and Ongeanaet would roll into the Big East Championship before falling to Louisville. Nonetheless, Syracuse would carry its momentum into the NCAA Tournament and advance to the Sweet 16.

After graduating with a BA in International Relations from Syracuse, Ongenaet played professionally for Sutor Basket Montegranaro. He'll forever be remembered as the guy who gave 100 percent and never took a play off. Unless you're Bill Raftery. Then you'll probably remember him for this: