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Q&A with Vanleer about his decision

Posted on: September 12, 2018 at 09:34:25 CT
FIJItiger MU
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16.53 yrs
M.O.B. Votes:

Q: How did this decision come about? This been a possibility for a while because of the injury, but how did it reach this point?

A: It’s always been a thought. My goal has always been to play. I’ve been rehabbing like any other time, but it got to the point where it really wasn’t realistic for me to come back and impact the game without sacrificing my overall health. We just felt by retiring it would be best for the team.

Q: You’ve grown up around the game all your life. Personally, how difficult has it been to accept this outcome?

A: It’s been tough. The rehab process has been tough. But I’m usually a very optimistic person, so I’ve tried to stay positive throughout. It was tough when I made the decision (to retire) and to see it in writing was tough, but I think I’ve moved past it and I’m ready for the next step.

Q: I’m not sure what you’ve discussed with Cuonzo, but how can you contribute to the team this season?

A: I think being a senior who’s been through it all I think I can help the young guys. And having a pretty good basketball IQ I can hopefully help them out with the little nooks and crannies of the game and how a Division I season goes, how to treat your body and all the difference nuances of the college basketball season. I really want to help the new guys use my IQ to help the team in any way I can.

Q: Besides tearing your ACL what other damage did you do to your knee?

A: I also tore my MCL, and my lateral meniscus was completely sliced in half.

Q: What stage of the rehab process are you in now and if you could have returned when would you have been able to play?

A: I think if I were to come back I would have been cleared around January or February but that’s not anywhere near basketball shape or game shape. That just means I could have taken part in full-contact drills. At that point I figured I’d need at least another month and a half to be at a level where I could impact the team.

As of now with my rehab I’ve been lifting pretty much the whole summer. About halfway through the summer I started lifting with my legs. Now I’m trying to stat jogging but taking it really slow and not pushing because the meniscus could be a problem if it’s overworked quickly. So we’re just taking it slow and not rushing anything.

Q: Like you said you’ve experienced a lot in your career, including a coaching change. But you found a role with this new staff and began last season as a starter. When you reflect on your career what do you take away from these last three years with this program?

A: I feel like I’ve experienced it all, the highs, the lows, everything. If you can have an overall college basketball experience I feel like I’ve had it. Going through those first two years was difficult on all of us and then with the coaching change it was a breath of fresh air and thankfully we had a really good season and made it to the (NCAA) Tournament. Obviously I didn’t get to play, which was very disappointing, but being at the NCAA Tournament has always been a dream of mine. I’m glad I was able to help this team make it there.

Q: What’s next after college? Will you follow your dad’s path and get into coaching? (John VanLeer was Cullen's high school coach at Pacific High School.)

A: My plan is to teach and coach at the high school level. I’ll have to do student teaching for an extra semester, so next December I’ll be able to graduate and move on from there to explore my options.

Edited by FIJItiger at 09:36:08 on 09/12/18
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Q&A with Vanleer about his decision - FIJItiger MU - 9/12 09:34:25
     His younger brother is going to Columbia College - quicksand MU - 9/12 19:26:14
     Hope he has a great career as a HS teacher/coach. - bornoncampus MU - 9/12 12:23:14

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