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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Michigan basketball recruiting notebook >> GR Northview’s Vanderjagt taking his smoke show to Belmont

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, July 16, 2021, 6:59 pm

A smoking gun from Grand Rapids will be making his way to the Smokey Mountains for his college hoops.

Grand Rapids Northview senior 6-foot-4 shooting guard Kyler Vanderjagt committed to Belmont University in Tennessee earlier this month. He’s a diamond in the ruff out of the west side of the state, who has an efficient and high-energy game and was choosing from more than a dozen offers.

Vanderjagt averaged 23 points per game last winter, shooting 43 percent from downtown and making himself a human highlight reel in the open court. The last two seasons, he’s quarterbacked the Northview football team, too.

Although he hadn’t yet earned a Big Ten offer, programs in the conference were taking notice. He visited with Tom Izzo on a campus visit to Michigan State last fall. There’s no question he’s got a high-major skill set.

Princeton from the Ivy League was in hot pursuit of Vanderjagt’s services because he’s not just a lights-out shooter on the basketball floor, he’s also a superb student. Sporting a 4.0 grade-point average, Vanderjagt wants to pursue a career in the medical profession as an anesthesiologist after his basketball days come to a conclusion.

Belmont is a small Division I school in Nashville, Tennessee with an up-and-coming hoops program under the tutelage of Casey Alexander. The Belmont Bruins compete out of the Ohio Valley Conference. Alexander has won 50 games in his two seasons at the helm of his alma mater’s program.

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Go-to guard show

These two junior backcourts are going bonkers this summer on the AAA and camp circuit:

• Caleb Reese, Triston Nichols & Nino Smith (Warren De La Salle) — Snap, crackle and pop special on the perimeter, these next two years are going to be grand in the Pilots hoop hanger off Hayes Road.

• Jordan Briggs & Anthony Sydnor (Muskegon) — Dripping with finesse and ready to do some serious damage in ’22.