Eric Van Der Heijden Includes PC Friars in his Top Ten Schools

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Rising recruit Eric Van Der Heijden of Millbrook High School in Raleigh, North Carolina has cut his college list down to 10 schools and has included the Providence Friars in his cut down list.  The rest of the schools that are in the running for the big man’s consideration are Iowa, Wake Forest, Texas, Ole Miss, Maryland, Marquette, Louisville, Clemson, and Cincinnati.

Louisville has recently been a particular pain in the side of potential PC recruits after securing the commitments of Bobby Pettiford and Bryce Hopkins, two high targets that Cooley and his staff had been pursuing.  So hopefully, history doesn’t repeat itself for the third time this summer.

Providence was earlier than a lot of the other top ten schools in their recruitment of Van Der Heijden, offering the versatile forward back on May 2 of this year.  His stock has continued to rise and 6 of the other 10 schools in his top ten offered soon after.  In fact, his ranking in the 2021 class with 247sports jumped from 146 all the way to 73 in the latest update.  Van Der Heijden reminds me of a lot of young high school kids who get a big growth spurt at once.  They’ve already been able to develop guard-like skills like ball-handling and passing/court vision and then once their sprout starts, those skills are there to compliment the new found size.  It may take a little while for their full coordination to catch back up for things like horizontal quickness on the defense side of things, but once they click, that player has the rare combination of size and skill that every team covets.

Van Der Heijden is a legitimate 6’9” and has a smooth and high-level outside shot but the most impressive part of his game from watching his highlights is his ability to pass the rock.  His basketball IQ appears to be extremely high and he has a knack for threading the needle and pushing the ball up the floor.  Now, don’t take this next comment out of context, but stay with me here for a second…his shooting form and jump shot remind me a lot of Tyler Herro’s form from when I used to (and still do) watch his High School highlights.  I’m not saying that he is necessarily a comp to Tyler Herro but I was certainly having flashbacks watching Eric go to work.  His size and playing style is very similar to Herro’s with one exception…Herro talked a ton of trash and had a chip on his shoulder the size of an asteroid.

Providence has had good luck and connections with players from the Carolinas (Greg Gantt, Kris Monroe, Jimmy Nichols Jr.), so I’m hoping that trend can continue with Eric.

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