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College signs Land O'Lakes basketball player

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 1, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Surely there has to be a reward for being the second-leading scorer on a team that won a school-record 28 games last season.

The payoff came Monday when Land O'Lakes High's Ryan Van Blarcom accepted a financial aid package to play basketball for Southeastern College in Lakeland. The Christian school doesn't award scholarships.

Last season, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game and led the Gators with 67 three-pointers.

"He was our purest outside shooter," Land O'Lakes coach Dave Puhalski said.

As a three-year starter, Van Blarcom helped the Gators win two consecutive Sunshine Athletic Conference and two district championships, as well as set school records for single-season victories (28 last season and 27 in 1999-2000).

Named to the all-conference team three times, Van Blarcom is the fifth basketball player in school history to sign with a college. The others are Scott Flatt, Arpod Zsold, Shawn Andrews and Russ Wilson.

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