Josiah VerVelde was a one-man defensive nightmare with an offensive touch for the Oostburg boys basketball team last winter. Next up: the college game.
VerVelde accepted a full scholarship to play at Cardinal Stritch University, the defending NAIA Division II national champion. He chose the Wolves over Central Michigan University, a NCAA Division I program that offered a preferred walk-on spot.
VerVelde’s sister, Jocelyn VerVelde, was a volleyball standout at CMU who graduated in May.
“I’m very excited,” said VerVelde. “It was a tough decision, took longer than I expected. Something just felt right about Cardinal Stritch.”
VerVelde, 6-foot-9 center last year for Oostburg, averaged 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game for Oostburg, which went 23-2 and won the Central Lakeshore Conference title. His length down low presented major problems for opponents, but he also showcased a shooting touch that extended beyond the 3-point line.
Led by VerVelde on both ends of the court, Oostburg went 16-0 in the CLC with a winning margin of more than 25 points per game.
VerVelde joins a Stritch program went 35-3 last season for head coach Drew Diener.
“With the bigs we have on our roster next season, we see Josiah as a skilled 4-man,” Diener told the Wisconsin Sports Network. “He is a great passer and shooter. He has a basketball mind and makes good decisions with the ball. He will complement our back-to-the-basket bigs very well. He will become a tough matchup at the 4.”
VerVelde earned unanimous first-team all-league honors as a senior and scored a career-high 28 points in a victory over CLC-rival Sheboygan Lutheran.