Illinois basketball transfer Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk reportedly hearing from Wisconsin, among six others

Illinois basketball transfer Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk reportedly hearing from Wisconsin, among six others

Illinois men’s basketball forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk has not been in the NCAA transfer portal long, but he has already become a recipient of heavy interest. Arizona State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin are among seven listed programs — 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 that he’s heard from South Carolina, Wisconsin, Tulsa, V Tech, Arizona State, Saint Louis, Loyola-Marymount, + many more,” Lieberman said on Twitter, in a tweet that Bosmans-Verdonk retweeted. “Been in the portal for a day. Highly sought after big.”

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 made his way to Champaign where he was named to an All-Big Ten Academic selection twice. Before his college days began, he competed for Belgium in the Fiba U16 European Championship and also helped the Pegasus Bulls land a fourth-place finish at the International School Sport Federation (ISF) World Schools Championship. According to Illinois’ official athletics website, it was the first-ever semifinals appearance for a Belgian school in the event

The NCAA introduced the transfer portal Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.

While 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 under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.

The portal not only has had a strong impact on basketball but football as well. There were 2,646 FBS players that entered it during the 2020-21 transfer cycle, sources said. That is up from 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.

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That increase can at least partially be credited to the NCAA’s new policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their careers without having to sit out a year-in-residence. That means all players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school as long as they meet an NCAA-mandated entry deadline.

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