Vinard Birch is on the short list of every college checking Minnesota for a point guard. One division two school has offered, several others are highly interested in Birch, and some division ones are also keeping tracking of his game. Birch will be a senior next year at Eastview where he averaged a team high 14.9 points a contest last season.
Playing for Al Harris and 43 Hoops Birch had another impressive summer leading the team on both ends of the floor.
"The spring and summer with 43 hoops was a great experience," Birch explained. "We had a lot of fun and accomplished a lot at the same time. One of my favorite memories was beating Joy of the Game in a thriller in Chicago.
"AAU helped me because you get to play with some of the best talent in the nation and if you play hard and get better, that makes the school season that much easier. My mid range jump shot has improved and my will to compete continues to grow."
When it comes to impressing schools Vinard used camp opportunities as well as playing with 43 Hoops to garner attention.
"I attended the Drake and Columbia Elite camp," Vinard said. "North Dakota State, Western Michigan, The Citadel, Bucknell, and Columbia are division one schools showing interest. I have an offer from Mary University. I haven't taken any visits yet."
Eastview should be good once again this coming season but they may be younger than usual. Of course Birch is the senior leader but junior Frank Veldman and sophomore Joey King are also going to be key factors this season. Both are unusual talents as Veldman can run like a deer and soar above the rim while King is arguably the top prospect in Minnesota's 2012 class.
Seniors Karl Otto (averaged seven points a game last year) and Jordan Kuhn return after getting good time last year and juniors Lehtzee Calderon and Shane McSparron soaked up junior varsity experience in 2008-09. Watch out for senior David Pearcill whose explosive athletic ability will make him valuable. Expect coach Mark Gerber to find a good role for him.
"We're looking pretty good," said Birch. "We have a young team so were just trying to make sure everyone is on the same page, and ready to work. It's going to be hard and long season."