St. Amour headed to Middlebury College

St. Amour headed to Middlebury College


St. Amour headed to Middlebury College


Narrowing his college destination between Middlebury College or the University of Vermont, Matt St. Amour had a difficult choice to make.

St. Amour detailed his options as such:

* Accept a walk-on spot at UVM, where he’d have a roster spot with no guarantees for a scholarship;

* Head to Middlebury, a NESCAC program that has turned into a Division III national power.

Calling it “the toughest thing I’ve had to choose in my life,” St. Amour picked Middlebury, confirming his decision to the Burlington Free Press in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve always been a Vermont kid and I felt I always wanted to continue to play in front of my Vermont fans,” said the Missisquoi Valley Union High School star. “UVM would have been a great opportunity, always been one of my dreams to play for them, but I feel Middlebury was a better fit.”

St. Amour, the Free Press’ Mr. Basketball last year, also considered Tufts, Siena and Babson as possible landing spots. He said prep-school considerations were nixed earlier in the process.

A two-time Gatorade winner as Vermont’s top basketball player, St. Amour averaged 30.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game as a senior, leading the Thunderbirds (13-9) to the Division I quarterfinals. He was the sixth Vermont boy to surpass the 2,000-point benchmark, finishing his career as No. 3 on the state list at 2,064.

But the offers from Division I schools weren’t on the table, a dose of reality for St. Amour.

“It was definitely frustrating — that was my dream, but it’s also not everything and I realized that,” St. Amour said. “I’m happy with my decision and I would have not done it any other way. I don’t have any regrets and I’m looking forward going down there for four years.”

St. Amour will join a Middlebury program that graduates captains Jake Wolfin, Nolan Thompson and Peter Lynch, part of a senior class that piled up a school-record 103 wins and reached the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2011. Earlier this month, making their sixth straight tournament appearance, the Panthers (25-4) fell in the quarterfinals.

“Middlebury told me I was their No. 1 option all along. I know I can be an important role on their team. I felt they were interested in wanting me to play there,” St. Amour said. “Middlebury doesn’t like to lose that much and that’s something that I enjoy.

“I plan on having a successful career and win a national championship — that’s definitely a goal.”

Missisquoi coach Jim Bose said St. Amour’s potential has yet to be reached.

“I think Matt is really going to fit in well there. He’s going to get stronger and I definitely think he’ll be an impact player,” Bose said. “When he gets into a college program, he’s going to get better and better and better.”

Although he’s also a soccer and basketball standout at Missisquoi, St. Amour said he’s focused on basketball at Middlebury. However, he left open the possibility of playing a second sport.

When asked to speak with Middlebury coach Jeff Brown, sports information director Brad Nadeau said in an email the school “could not comment at this time.”

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