McMaster men’s basketball coach Amos Connolly has his first recruit signing of the year, and the newest Marauder carries a name familiar to fans of the maroon and grey. Jacobus Vanderpol (Hamilton Westdale Warriors) has made his commitment to the Marauders for next season.
“We are ecstatic that Jacobus has chosen to join our family here at McMaster,” said a beaming Connolly. “He brings a versatility that is becoming more necessary at our level as his skill set allows him to play multiple positions offensively.”
A 6-foot-5 wing player, Vanderpol has been a multiple-time all-star for the Hamilton public secondary school league, while playing for Westdale, and was most valuable player for the Warriors’ senior boys’ team. He has also played with the prestigious UPlay Canada club team.
“McMaster is like a second home for me, having been brought up in the community I was always at camps and playing in tournaments there,“ said Vanderpol, on why he decided to become a Marauder. “McMaster is also one of the top universities in the world academically and nationally-ranked on the basketball court, so it seemed like the complete package for me.”
He comes to McMaster as a second-generation Marauder. His father, Jack, was a two-time All-Canadian for the basketball team and is enshrined in the McMaster Athletic Hall of Fame.
Connolly has known Vanderpol since he was a grade 6 student at the R. A. Riddell Basketball Academy in Hamilton, and calls him a gifted athlete, who can defend the entire court and get out and run in transition.
“Jacobus has size and strength that is already university calibre and adding this type of player just confirms our commitment to excellence,” adds Connolly. “The fact that he is from Hamilton makes it even sweeter.”
Describing himself as a player that loves to attack the rim and who is always just as happy to set up a teammate as to score himself, Vanderpol calls the decision to attend McMaster a major relief. “It feels great to have chosen McMaster because I now know what direction I’m heading in. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and it’s easier to focus on school and basketball.”
Vanderpol will lead his Westdale Warriors into the annual Pinky Lewis high school tournament being played this weekend at McMaster with games Nov. 27-29.