Here´s a record that not too many community college coaches hold. Imagine finding placements and athletic scholarships at 4-year universities for every graduating player on your team. Sounds too good to be true?
Well, that´s a record that Andrew Vasher, head basketball coach at Columbia College has held since he started five seasons ago at the college. “Placement may be at a small 4-year school, but we´ll find a spot for them,” said Vasher.
While Vasher doesn´t promise transfers and athletic scholarships to 4-year universities when recruiting basketball players, he does commit that they will be seen and noticed by universities and pro scouts as a player in the Community College League of California. Columbia College participates in the intercollegiate league´s Central Valley Conference.
Like all coaching staff, recruiting takes up a considerable amount of time. In Vasher´s case, it averages 20 or more hours a week, which really amounts to a minimum of 2 to 3 hours daily beyond his regular work schedule.
But his time spent has paid big dividends. Nine of his 12 basketball team members are from out-of-state. Most are from the West and three come from as far away as Virginia.
Speaking of big dividends, the Claim Jumpers were this year´s regional champs, finishing with a 28-6 season record. Their disappointing loss in the state´s quarterfinal playoffs was to the eventual state champions, Saddleback College of Southern California.
Here is the list of graduating players, their hometowns, and the 4-year universities they are headed to:
Doug Carlson, North Salt Lake, UT – Adam State, CO; Mikey Dyer, Flagstaff, AZ -San Francisco State; Jeff Johnson, Norfolk, VA – Indiana Tech; Rick Luenberg, Gilbert, AZ – Stanislaus State; Jeremy Peterson, Tuolumne, CA -San Francisco State; Jason Sherry, Missoula, MT – Huron State, SD; and Derrick Stewart, Norfolk, VA – Central State University, OH or Cumberland College, KY.