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CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: Sacia Vanderpool, Byron Bears Basketball

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) - Byron's Sacia Vanderpool is an anomaly on the basketball court. The 6-4 rising senior has the size to dominate inside the paint, the ball-handling skills to take the ball up the floor, and the shooting touch from beyond the arc that makes her nearly impossible to defend.

So when the coronavirus pandemic began, Vanderpool's phone started to ring. A lot.

"I think over 20 schools were talking to me, and just setting up calls throughout the day. It was a lot to balance with my school work, too, and trying to get a work out in, just non-stop calls and stuff," she said.

Turn on Vanderpool's highlight tape and it's no wonder her phone was ringing off the hook. College coaches came calling in droves.

"It was a little overwhelming, but overall pretty exciting to build those relationships with the coaches," said Vanderpool. "I guess they have nothing to do, so they've been looking at the highlight tapes and trying to recruit that way because they can't come watch us play."

Anyone that has seen her play knows she has all the tools. Last week, the Byron star committed to play for the Wisconsin Badgers, where her family has gone to school for generations.

"That was super exciting to continue on the legacy at Wisconsin and just have that decision made because of the recruiting during the pandemic," Vanderpool said.

Now, Vanderpool continues to refine her game at home. In the absence of organized competition, she's found new ways to tap into her competitive fire -- especially when she works out with her brother.

"We've been having lots of competitions, whether it's working out, lifting the weights or shooting together," she said. "We have a little competitiveness together."

That competitiveness will help her when the games resume, and she and her Byron teammates are ready for the upcoming season.

"We're going to continue to work hard this summer and we'll see if the gyms can get open," said Vanderpool. "I'm excited for the season and how good we can be together when we put all of our pieces together."

Mark Poulose

Mark Poulose is a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTTC.

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