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Posted On: 01/29/18 10:54 AM
St. Thomas Academy forward Sam Vascellaro has become one of the top names available in the senior class and he’s leading the Cadets in scoring, rebounding, and steals.
“So far our team has been put through many early season tests,” Sam said. “We’ve had to play what I think is one of the hardest schedules in the entire state and we handled ourselves in most of the games.
“We are continuing to grow mentally and learning how to play together as a team and we are only going up from where we are right now. Overall things have been going well but we know we can do better and that is what we are striving for.”
The Cadets have won four of their last five games finding a groove in Metro East play after starting their year with games against ranked teams Osseo, Apple Valley, Cretin-Derham Hall, Hopkins, and others.
“This year we had three returning starters and a few guys who played minutes for us last year,” Sam said.
“We have two big pieces in our starting lining up stepping up and playing well every game. I expect a lot from the team because I know the potential we have and how we can make a run at the end of the season. That is our ultimate goal.”
St. Thomas went to state last year and are the favorites to do so out of their section against this winter. That is of course the goal of Vascellaro. That and he would like to hit the century mark as a player for his career.
“The only personal goal I have along with being a good team leader is to score 1,000 career points,” Vascellaro told Prep Hoops.
“As far as team goals, me and the team strive to make it back to state at take the title. We know we have the talent and we are very well coached. We believe it’s a very realistic goal.”
Sam is scoring his near 16 points per game as a part of a three man group – along with Jack Thompson and George Stewart – that the Cadets can rely on scoring numbers from.
Vascellaro is shooting 50.6 percent form the floor on a dozen shots a game plus making 73 percent of his foul shots. Sam feels his shooting touch has grown as has his ability to lead his team.
“I think I have improved my shot very much. Along with that my court awareness has became better. I think being a good captain is important and in my opinion I have been doing well but can continue to grow as a leader.”
Sam is hearing from several college programs at the D2 and D3 levels locally and outside of the state.
“Over the summer I took a lot of visits to the MIAC schools,” Sam said. “I have been contacted by many more NSIC schools as the season has begun and got my first D2 scholarship a few days ago.
“I plan on taking visits to some of these NSIC schools along with a D2 school in Texas.
“The division two NSIC schools that have been in contact with me are Southwest Minnesota State, Sioux Falls, Bemidji State, Minnesota Moorhead, and a few others. As the season moves on I hope to get more offers from division two schools as well as minor division one programs.”