Lance Verhoeff-Making His Mark

Lance Verhoeff

Men's Basketball
Forward
Third Year
6'8"
Business

We were never meant to do this life on our own and every aspect of an athlete's life is a tribute to that. Regardless of whether they are engaged in an individual or team sport, every athlete is surrounded by people who train, support, uplift and inspire them. It is the stories of these essential relationships that form the threads of each athlete's story. Spartan forward Lance Verhoeff is no exception as his basketball journey is one intricately woven - combining not only his own unique threads but those of his family as well.

Growing up in Calgary, Lance began playing hoops at a fairly young age and while he also participated in a number of other community sports during his childhood local coaches began to recognize his natural ability with the basketball. "I went to Trinity Christian School and when I was in Grade 5 I started playing for the Grade 7/8 team which isn't entirely regular but it was cool for me because it got me into the game early."
Lance played through middle school and joined a local club team - the Calgary Selects. In Grade 10 he transferred to Calgary Christian High School where he got placed on the Senior Team and had an immediate impact. "We came in the top four every year at the Provincial Championships while I was at Calgary Christian and I don't think we ever lost a league or playoff game," recalls Lance. He also played for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) club team - the Jr. Trojans.

As he traveled with the Trojans to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to play in big tournaments Lance began to consider what his basketball future might be at the university level. "While playing in the NCAA was always something I wanted, I always felt the pull to look into the basketball program at Trinity," says Lance. "My older sister Lies was a Spartan and so all through high school we would be out watching her games and over time I became pretty familiar with the school and with the athletics programs. In the end it was her experience here as she grew athletically and personally that really made me decide to come."

Lies Verhoeff originally came to Trinity to play basketball but when she arrived volleyball seemed like a better choice so she signed on as a part of the team in Spartan Women's Volleyball's inaugural year in the CIS. "She never played outside of the high school league but after just three years at Trinity she began playing for the National Team," recounts Lance. While Lies did not play the same sport as Lance, the lessons she learned and the character she developed while at Trinity have never been lost on him. "Lies never gave up - she had some injuries and her team wasn't always on the winning end of things but she led well and she was committed to her team."

While Lies has now moved on to other things (namely four years of playing professionally in Europe and starting a family of her own) Lance's brother Rudy and his cousin Jordan are also at the school and involved with Men's Volleyball and Women's Basketball respectively. "It's great to walk through this part of my life with Rudy and Jordan," says Lance. "We're all at the same stage in our athletic career as we're being given more responsibility and opportunity to lead on our teams and it's been really neat to be able to support each other through that as we build up a family legacy here."

And what a family legacy Lance is helping to build. With only two years under his belt he has slotted himself into the Spartan record books as having the third most blocked shots in a single game (3) - an aspect of the game that Lance feels is his territory. "My role on the team has changed over the last few years and as I transition into more of a leadership position this year I know that my job is to energize the defense by making stops," says Lance. "We all contribute differently to the team and shutting the other team down in our end is a big part of my contribution."

As Lance looks towards this year and the years to come he recognizes the value of his family and the impact they have had on his experience as an athlete. "Rudy is the best brother anyone could ask for, Jordan is like a sister to me, my parents have supported me through everything I've ever done and Lies left all of us some pretty big shoes to fill. But in the end it doesn't so much matter how it all turns out, it's cool that we get to do it all together."

 

Last Updated: 2008-10-14
Author: Scott Stewart

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