Illinois men’s basketball forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk didn’t last long on the NCAA transfer portal, but he’s already become a very interesting recipient. Arizona State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin are among seven programs listed — plus “many others” — interested in his services, according to a report by Jake Lieberman, who cited Bosmans-Verdonk .
“Illinois Transfer Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (@BosmansVerdonk) tells me he’s heard of South Carolina, Wisconsin, Tulsa, V Tech, Arizona State, Saint Louis, Loyola-Marymount, and many more,” Lieberman said on Twitter, in a tweet that Bosmans- Verdonk retweeted. “I was in the portal for a day. Great much sought after.
Bosmans-Verdonk – a 6-foot-8, 235-pounder – played in 24 games last season. He started two games and averaged 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per outing. Upon entering the portal, he took to social media to make his intentions known.
“For the past three years, Illinois has been my home away from home,” Bosmans-Verdonk wrote on Twitter. “Thank you, Illini Nation, for welcoming me with open arms! I am forever indebted! After careful consideration, I have decided to enter the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility remaining.”
Originally from Belgium, Bosmans-Verdonk traveled to Champaign where he was twice named to an All-Big Ten Academic selection. Before he started college, he competed for Belgium in the Fiba U16 European Championship and also helped the Pegasus Bulls to a fourth-place finish in the International School Sports Federation (ISF) World Schools Championship. According to the official Illinois Athletics website, this was the first-ever semifinal appearance for a Belgian school in the event.
The NCAA introduced the Transfer Portal on October 15, 2018, providing athletes with a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff to complete a transfer. They just have to request that compliance register their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear upon request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears on the portal.
Although a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are not required to keep a scholarship player once they have entered the portal.
The portal not only had a strong impact on basketball, but also on football. There were 2,646 FBS players who entered it during the 2020-21 transfer cycle, sources said. This represents an increase from 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.
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This increase can at least in part be attributed to the NCAA’s new policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their career without having to miss a year in residency. This means that all players entering the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible for their new school as long as they meet an NCAA-imposed registration deadline.