Jeremy Buttell Checks In With Scott VanderMeer
June 26, 2009
Senior forward Jeremy Buttell of the UIC men's basketball team is spending his summer as an intern for the UIC Sports Information Office. Today "JB" checks in with a story he penned on his former Flames frontcourt mate, Scott VanderMeer, as the Horizon League's all-time blocked shots leader pursues a professional hoops career.
CHICAGO- Scott VanderMeer, the Flames' all-time leading shot-blocker, has been done with his UIC career for over three months now, but he is still hard at work on the hardwood.
The 7-foot former Flame has been traveling the country in pursuit of his lifelong dream: to become a professional basketball player.
That dream started to become a reality in April when Vandermeer was chosen to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase event held for NBA and European scouts to watch the nation's top 64 seniors in action. Upon returning from Portsmouth, Scott began working out at ATTACK Athletics, owned and operated by Tim Grover, a UIC alum and, most notably, Michael Jordan's career-long trainer.
Vandermeer has started to realize that turning basketball into a career is more than most realize.
"Workouts are a lot harder and more intense," said VanderMeer. "It is a business now; you really have to network yourself and prove yourself everyday to people. You never know who is watching you, so every second of every day matters. I am working to get a job, just like everyone else out there."
Vandermeer has had private workouts with NBA teams including the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Although Scott has been hard at work, he still keeps in touch with his former teammates.
"I still talk to JB, Spencer [Stewart], [Josh] Mayo, and [Chris] Buchanan daily," said VanderMeer. "But working out three to six hours a day, every day, gets tiring, so I don't get that much time to go see them. I do go up to the Flames Athletic Center every once in a while to play open gym with the guys, though.
"It's tough not being around those guys everyday anymore," VanderMeer continued. "JB, Spence, Mayo, and I lived together for two years, and we had some fun times on and off the court. The brotherhood that I was able to build with those three guys is something that I will truly miss."
While Vandermeer's future is not certain at the moment, he hopes to be picked up for the NBA Summer League and see where that takes him.
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