Off to a 23 and 4 start on the season, the Dakota College of Bottineau Lumberjacks are looking to get into the National tournament conversation in the NJCAA. A big reason for the team's success this season has come via red shirt sophomore Julian Vasquez who is taking advantage of a second chance the Jacks have given him. Derek Hackett has more on one of the state's best kept
secrets on the college basketball court.
Julian has taken plenty of shots... Mid Range, turn around, and pull up jumpers. He makes the most of his shots on the court---But as a college freshman he thought he may have missed his only shot at playing college ball.
"I was expelled from school, sent home about two weeks from my birthday. Then I was like "I just had everything in my hands now I lost it off a dumb decision." So, I got a second opportunity so I'm making the best of it."
Coming from Miami Florida, Julian was an NCAA prospect from the Sunshine state--but his grades along with personal infractions landed him on the bench....
"You're out on your own--finally. I was 18, and I got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thought I was hanging out with some people that were my friends but they weren't. I made some bad decisions, but now I'm in a better place I believe."
A place that took Julian 30 hours via bus to travel from his home court in South Beach -Dakota College at Bottineau put him back in the game after it seemed he fouled out.
"Head Coach Cory Fehringer" when we got him he was not academically ready to take another step to another school. He's an NCAA caliber player that didn't have the grades. So we had to have a conversation with his mother and all of us had to be on the same page that when he came here, he was going to improve himself off the basketball floor."
And he did--Now a GPA just a hair under a 3. 0 Julian hit the books with a full court press.
Now in his final year in Junior College--he's back on the court and having a ball...
"Julian- I feel like I'm a little kid when I play"
A text book in one hand and a basketball in the other Julian is toeing the line and making the most of this second shot... In Bottineau--Derek Hackett-- KX Sports
Julian was recently named the Mon-Dak player of the week for the 2nd time this season thanks in part to a 53 point night in a win over Lake Region State. Julian is hoping to finish the year strong and moving on to play in the NCAA.