Vander Laan is an aggressive post player who may be Cal's most active player on the court ... gives Cal a solid presence in the middle … his effort and enthusiasm are two of his biggest assets … a strong rebounder who isn't afraid to mix it up under the boards … hoping for a fully healthy campaign this year after suffering through a bout of mononucleosis just before the start of the '99-00 season … lost 25 pounds due to the ailment and never fully regained his strength the rest of the year … has worked out at Pete Newell's Big Man Camp the last two summers.
As a Freshman in 1999-00: Vander Laan was voted honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman last year … got his Cal career off to a great start by earning all-tournament honors at the Top of the World Classic in Alaska ... had 20 points in the opener vs. TCU, then totaled a career-best 23 points in the title game vs. Oklahoma ... reached double figures in six of his first seven games and had 16 double-figure scoring games ... recorded five double-doubles on the year, all coming in Pac-10 play ... the first was in the league opener vs. Arizona when he had 14 points and 10 rebounds ... also had three straight double-doubles vs. Stanford (15-11), Washington State (12-12) and Washington (10-13) in late January and another against Oregon State (11-11) ... led Cal on the glass 15 times in the season's last 23 games ... averaged a team-high 7.6 rpg in Pac-10 action with a best of 13 against Washington ... also had 12 boards at Arizona March 11 ... only fourth Cal freshman to accumulate at least 200 rebounds (also Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Brian Hendrick and Bob McKeen) ... played just four minutes at Oregon State due to a stomach virus … voted Cal's Hustle and Spirit Award after the season.
High School: Vander Laan averaged 19 ppg and 14 rpg as a senior at St. Thomas More Academy in Oakdale, CT ... named team Co-MVP after leading the squad to a 28-4 record and a second-place finish in the New England Prep School tournament (Class A) ... once had a quadruple-double with 48 points, 22 rebounds, 11 blocks and 10 assists in a double-overtime 101-97 victory ... rated the No. 10 center prospect in the country by PrepStar and the No. 5 center and No. 36 overall recruit by Recruiting USA ... in one game, scored 25 points and added 15 boards against 7-2 Bruno Sundov, who was the 35th overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks ... as a junior, named team MVP after averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds at the Kent School in Connecticut ... attended Kennedy HS in Sacramento before finishing his high school career in Connecticut ... played for the L.A. Rockfish AAU team in the summer along with Cal teammates Solomon Hughes, Shantay Legans and Brian Wethers.
Personal: Nicholas James Vander Laan ... born Oct. 27, 1979 in Long Beach, CA ... parents are Dirk and Margaret Vander Laan ... as a high school senior, attended the Bears NIT semifinal contest in New York against Oregon.... lists Dennis Rodman as his favorite sports personality ... undeclared major.