After a childhood desire grew into a life-long love, third-year Men’s Basketball Captain Matt Devine is seeing his hard work and determination pay off.
On April 7, Devine was named to the d3hoops.com All-Star team, which will travel to Europe in late May to compete against opponents in Paris, Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
“I am honored to have been selected, and I cannot wait to get the ball going,” Devine said.
This season, Devine led the SUNYAC in points per game and was nominated to the second All-SUNYAC team. After his play during the season, Head Coach Mike Rejniak made the recommendation for Devine to be selected to the d3hoops.com team.
“He can post-up, shoot the three and has the right mentality. He’s one tough son of a gun,” Rejniak said.
Devine first saw success playing for his high school team at Freehold Township in New Jersey. After having a solid season as a senior, former Men’s Basketball head coach at the time, Dagan Nelson, recruited him to play for his Div. III team.
Though he was not yet affiliated with New Paltz, Rejniak said Devine was recruited because of his strength as a team player.
“Matt was very versatile. He played in the Jersey Shore area, and was recruited by a lot of colleges including Pennsylvania and Hopart which went into the NCAA finals in 2011,” Rejniak said.
Devine said once he visited New Paltz as a potential recruit, he knew a match had been made and he was not going anywhere else.
“When I came for my overnight weekend with the team as a recruit, I knew this was the school for me,” Devine said. “They made me feel like I was already a part of the team, and they were really likeable.”
Devine will be joined by 10 other NCAA Div. III players who, like himself, were recommended by their respective coaches. The squad will play four or five games against their European rivals, and will also participate in a series of youth clinics and workouts with
Devine said one of the greatest perks of the tour is being able to show off his talent to European scouts, who may be interested in his play during the trip. He said this is crucial as he hopes to play basketball overseas once he finishes his college career.
“I’m just going to play my game, and show the scouts a little something,” Devine said. “If I get recruited to play in Europe after I graduate, that would be awesome.”
While this is a big step, Devine said he is ready for the opportunity to take his game to the next level. He said the journey he has taken alongside his teammates has prepared him well for what he is about to embark on.
“My teammates support me 100 percent. They’re excited for me, and I just wish I could experience and share it with them,” Devine said. “It was an ‘us’ that got me where I am and where I am about to go.”