SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's basketball announced Wednesday the signing of three players to national letters of intent for the 2017-18 season.
Matt Turner, Josip Vrankic and Shaquille Walters will join the Broncos prior to next season as true freshmen.
"We are very excited about the three young men we signed today," head coach Herb Sendek said. "Each of them were offered scholarships and recruited tenaciously by schools from some of the other top conferences, like the ACC, Pac-12 and Big East. To win these recruiting battles speaks volumes about our university and the direction of our basketball program."
Turner is a 6-foot-3 player from Blair Academy in New Jersey who helped his team to the Mid-Atlantic Prep League title the last two years, including a trip to 2016 A state final. The Trumbull, Connecticut, native played with the New York Lightning of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) during last spring and summer.
Vrankic, a 6-foot-9 player from Toronto, is heading into his third season at Wasatch Academy (Utah), which is ranked among the top independent programs in the nation. Vrankic competed at the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas Tournament, helping Canada advance to the gold medal game against the U.S.
A London native, Walters is currently enrolled at Lee Academy (Maine) after graduating from Harris Boys Academy in East Dulwhich, England. The 6-foot-6 player was named MVP of the 2014-15 Basketball England National Schools U17 Championships after leading his team to the title. Walters also participated in the 2015 Luol Deng Top 50 Camp and earned 2015-16 Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) East Player of the Year honors by leading City of London Academy to a 12-1 mark when he averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals.
"This group helps us fill important needs and because they are skilled, smart and versatile, they fit our style of play perfectly," Sendek said. "Additionally, they possess the character and leadership abilities that Santa Clara has long been known for and that we can all be proud of."
Santa Clara Men's Basketball Signees (Class of 2017)
6-3 • 170
Trumbull, Conn. / Blair Academy (N.J.)
Video: Turner Highlights
• Entering his third season at Blair Academy where he helped the Buccaneers win both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles … last year's team advanced to the Prep 'A' state final
• Played with the New York Lightning Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (AAU) during the spring and summer of 2016
• Invited to the 2016 Victor Oladipo Skills Academy, which was held in Hyattsville, Maryland
• Other scholarship offers: Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, St. Louis and St. Joseph's
• High School Coach: Joe Mantegna
• Club Coach: Dana Dingle
Sendek on Turner:
"Matt Turner is an elite shooter with a knack for consistently putting points on the board. He can put the ball on the floor and read situations to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. His competitive spirit allows him to make a difference on defense and galvanize his teammates."
6-9 • 205
Toronto, Ontario / Wasatch Academy (Utah)
Video: Vrankic Highlights
• Helped Wasatch Academy boast a 29-4 record in 2015-16 when he averaged 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game … the program, located in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, is 15th in the 2016-17 Super 25 Preseason Boys Basketball rankings.
• Participated in the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas Tournament where he helped the Canadians advance to the gold medal game against the U.S. … averaged 16.6 minutes per game, hauling in 5.5 rebounds a game.
• Plays on the Canada Elite AAU team
• Other scholarship offers: Tulane, DePaul and Princeton
• High School Coach: Curtis Condie
• Club Coach: Shane James
Sendek on Vrankic:
"Josip Vrankic has a great feel for the game, extraordinary vision and a very high basketball IQ. He has a unique ability to play inside and out. His passing skills make him fun to play with and to watch."
London, England / Lee Academy (Maine)
Video: Walters Highlights
• Entering his first season at Lee Academy (Maine) after graduating last spring from Harris Boys Academy in East Dulwhich, England
• Earned 2015-16 Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) East Player of the Year honors by leading City of London Academy to a 12-1 mark when he averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals … also secured defensive player of the year honors
• Earned MVP honors at the 2014-15 Basketball England National Schools U17 Championships after leading his team to the title game where he posted 21 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists
• Participated in the 2015 Luol Deng Top 50 Camp which features the top 50 players in England
• Other scholarship offers: Arizona State, Dayton and Tulane
• High School Coach: Jackson Gibbons
• Prep School Coach: Igor Vrzina
Sendek on Walters:
"Shaq Walters is an extraordinary athlete who impacts winning on both ends of the floor. He shoots with range and attacks the basket with force. His length, quickness and jumping ability help make him an outstanding defender and rebounder."