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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Rockfish x 3: Nick VanderLaan
Signs LOI With Cal--(Nov. 17, 1998)

Nick Vander Laan (6'-10" Sr. C) from St. Thomas More Prep in Connecticut, who also calls Sacramento, California home, has done the expected and signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Golden Bears next year.   Here's what the official press release says:

Center is third recruit to join men's basketball team.

November 17, 1998

BERKELEY - Nick Vander Laan, a 6-10, 250-pound center from Sacramento, has become the third recruit to sign a National Letter of Intent with the Cal men's basketball team, head coach Ben Braun announced Tuesday.

A physical performer who has been rated as one of the Top 100 players in the country, Vander Laan averaged 26.4 ppg, 16.1 rpg and 3.5 apg as a junior at the Kent School in Connecticut last season. This fall, he is attending St. Thomas More Academy in Connecticut, the same prep school as current Cal freshmen center Shahar Gordon. 

"Nick is kind of the guy who started our whole recruiting process - he was the first to make a commitment," Braun said. "I think that is significant because he's like a rock for us. He likes to mix it up, and he gives us a solid guy in the middle of the floor who can do a lot of things for the team. He's just relentless on the basketball floor. He's a hard-nosed, tough competitor who was one of the tougher players we saw this summer. Nick will give our team a physical presence, and players will enjoy playing around him." 

Vander Laan won a silver medal while playing for the West team at the USA Basketball Youth Development Camp over the summer. He is ranked as the No. 10 center prospect in the country by PrepStar and the No. 5 center and No. 36 overall recruit by Recruiting USA. Vander Laan picked Cal over such schools as Notre Dame, Utah, Arizona and Stanford.

Vander Laan joins 5-9 point guard ShanTay Legans (Dos Pueblos HS/Goleta, CA) and Brian Wethers (Murrieta Valley HS/Murrieta, CA), who signed with Cal last week. In addition to deciding to attend Cal, all three players are also members of the same AAU team - the L.A. Rockfish.

Congratulations to the Bears and Nick.   And yes, there are some In-N-Out's located near Berkeley.


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