Doornekamp delivers at BC

JASON PAUL -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Nate Doornekamp has come a long way from the little town of Odessa, Ont., just outside of Kingston, to the glare of playing for one of the best college basketball teams in the United States. The 7-foot, 255-pound centre is having one of the most successful seasons by a Canadian in the NCAA in 2004-05 -- as a starter for the fourth-ranked Boston College Eagles (20-1).

"This has been a breakout year for the entire team," said Doornekampm, who has been a starter all season and is one of the team's clutch defenders. "It feels great to have a hand in this."

The Eagles moved into the spotlight after winning their first 20 games of the season -- before a 68-65 loss to unranked Notre Dame on Tuesday.

Doornekamp's statistics may not be too mind-blowing -- 5.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 29.8 minutes -- but his role is measured by more than just his numbers.

"Nate has been an integral part of our success," Boston Eagles coach Al Skinner said. "He's one of the anchors of our defence and communicates well with his teammates.

"Offensively, he has good skills. He shoots and handles the ball well and he can draw his defender away from the basket."

Coming from a basketball family in a town with "only one street light and about five blocks to the main part of town," Doornekamp quickly became a heavily recruited high-schooler at Ernestown Secondary under coach Tom Turnbull.

Nowhere did he sparkle more than at a summer tournament in Maryland where he matched up against future NBA all-star Amare Stoudemire and led his team to victory with 25 points in front of a pack of NCAA scouts.

"I guess I did get the upper hand that game and when you see where he is now, it makes you think maybe I have a chance," said Doornekamp, 22, who's studying political science but hopes to play professionally after graduating.

Doornekamp got major minutes in his second season at Boston College, but was hampered by a foot injury as a junior last year.

"Unfortunately, injuries have slowed his progress, but he worked hard in the off-season to get healthy," Skinner said. "He's a big guy who can definitely be a role player for someone when he's done here, no question -- it's just a matter at what level."


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