Report: 49ers invite basketball player to rookie camp

Report: 49ers invite basketball player to rookie camp
May 21, 2014, 7:30 am
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Zach Noreen averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Bemidji State basketball team. (USATSI)

General manager Trent Baalke attended a Bemidji (Minnesota) State basketball game to watch a 5-foot-7 freshman guard on the women’s team.

He reportedly ended up scouting a prospect that will attend the 49ers’ rookie minicamp this weekend in Santa Clara.

After watching his daughter, Cassie, play basketball in February, the 49ers personnel chief stayed around to watch the men’s basketball game, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Baalke, who played football at Bemidji State from 1982 to '86, started a conversation with forward Zach Noreen (6-foot-6, 250). Of course, the talk turned to football. Noreen, after all, has a body of an NFL tight end.

On May 10, the final day of the NFL draft, the 49ers called Noreen and extended an invitation for him to travel to the Bay Area for a tryout this week at the team’s rookie minicamp.

Noreen told the St. Cloud newspaper he has been working out hard in preparation for the camp, which will consist of rookies, players who do not have a vested NFL season and players invited for tryouts.

He has been studying film with his brother, Seth, who played tight end and was a long-snapper at St. Cloud State. Zach Noreen has not played a football game since 2009 in high school.

"I ended on a good note," Noreen said. "My last catch was a touchdown."

Noreen’s focus has been solely on basketball since high school. He averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds and was Bemidji State’s co-MVP and a first-team all-conference selection as a senior.


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