Q&A: Jamie Vanderbeken

The 6-10 post player from Canada, Jamie Vanderbeken, sat down with us in Indianapolis at the Nike All America camp, and told us about his game, the camp, and his recruitment. One Pac-10 school has offered him a scholarship...

Jamie Vanderbeken, the 6-10 post player from Belleville (Ont., Canada) Quinte School, sat down with us at the Nike All-America Camp:


How are things going for you at the camp so far?


"So far, it's been pretty good. But it's been a struggle for me."


Why's that?


"Coming down from Canada, there are only two of us here. It's culture shock, more than anything."


You mean in terms of talent among the competition?


"Yeah. There's nowhere near this amount of talent and athleticism in Canada. You get the odd couple from Toronto now and then. I'm just used to being the guy. The guy. But now I'm getting thrown around down here."


Has it been good for you?


"It's been really good for me, definitely. That's basically what I wanted to do, come down here and see how I match up and then go on from there."


In your games here you've been floating outside...


"I've been finding more success on the outside, but I'm not scoring as much as I'd like to, or should be I think. I'm passing the ball around. I'm getting more assists than I am points. I'm hoping the (college) coaches here can see my all-around game. And the coaches that have seen him and want me know I can score. So I wanted to show them more of my all-around game and open it up a little bit more."


Do you play normally more with your back to the basket?


"Yeah, sometimes. In high school, I can get away with a normal back-down and turn-around or jump shot, or baby hook. But I have some advantages on the outside. If I'm out there, it opens it up. If I have a big, slow guy on me I'll take him on the perimeter, dribble and shoot."


You had said before you were going to go to summer school and not play until Las Vegas later this July. Is that still true?


"It's changed. I'm not going to summer school anymore. It wasn't working. I was going to summer school to pick up some core classes. But the classes I was going to take in summer school, they're classes I have already taken, so the NCAA wouldn't accept them. So it wouldn't have helped me anyway."


So you're going to try to complete seven core classes in your senior year?


"Yeah. I can do it, though. I have to do it."


Where are you going from here?


"I'm going to the All-Canada Nike Camp Monday. Then I'm going to the Main Event in Vegas and playing with the (AAU team) Toronto Mission."


When it comes to recruiting, what are your favorite schools that have offered you?


"Oregon State has offered me, and I went and visited them."


Officially or unofficially?


"Officially. About a month ago, maybe."


Did you like it?


"Yeah, it was really good."


What do you think of the program and the coach, Jay John?

"He's a good guy and a good coach. The players are a bunch of good guys there. I think it's a good fit for me. So, that's an option. There's UCLA. We're talking. There's also Cal."


There was a report that Cal had offered you...


"I'm not sure."


How do you feel about those schools – Cal and UCLA?


"Cal and UCLA are some big-time schools. So it's flattering, more than anything. Just having UCLA talk to me and maybe offer me is flattering."


And who else has shown interest?


"Pepperdine. There's Minnesota. Utah has been talking."


Is there one school among those you like particularly?


"No, not really. I'm just taking it in stride. I'm just doing research, going on the Internet, and talking to my parents. Probably by the end of the summer I want my list down to five."


Has any school besides Oregon State offered an official visit?


"UCLA did. Pepperdine, Cal and Minnesota all did. They've all said they want me to visit."


With those west coast schools high on your list, you have no problem going so far away from home?


"It doesn't really matter. I just want to go to the place with the best fit. It'd be nice to stay closer to home. But it would be hard to find a place anyways. So I need to find a place with the best fit."


Have you been noticing the coaches who have been watching you at Nike?


"Yeah. It definitely makes you know that they're interested. Oregon State has been at every game. UCLA, Minnesota, I've seen them there. It will all come down to what my family and I decide."


IF UCLA offered, would that change things?


"It's a very prestigious academic school, so that would mean something. But not only do I want academics, I want playing time. They've said I'd get playing time, but I'd have to do some research, to see who's leaving and who's on their roster, and who else they're recruiting. But that would be really good, to get an offer from UCLA."


Do you think you'll wait before making a decision – and see if more schools offer?


"I'd like to sign early so I can just have fun with the basketball season this year. If I have to wait and sign late, I'll do that. "


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