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A feel good story on Mount Saint Mary's Class of 2016 commit
Monday, 26 January 2015

MountStMarysLogo.jpgby Joe Click

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Since Jack Vukelich was still mighty, mighty early in the basketball recruiting process — the Trinity youngster had only wrapped up his sophomore year a few weeks earlier — he was really surprised when Jamion Christian nonchalantly made a comment the 16-year-old will recall as long as he lives.

“He just kind of brought it up in a conversation,” Vukelich related recently.

“Like we were in his office just talking and he goes, ‘Oh, by the way, you’ve got a scholarship here if you want it.’ That was surprising.”

Although Vukelich hadn’t really considered any other schools than Mount St. Mary’s — he’d made the relatively short jaunt down U.S. 15 to Emmitsburg, Md., a number of times and was growing quite fond of the place — the mobile 6-8 youngster with the soft mid-range jumper decided, ‘Hey, why not?’


 So he told the 32-year-old Christian at some point — Christian had been eyeing Vukelich since the end of the youngster’s freshman year — ‘OK, I’ll take it.’

“Vuke was in here and [Christian] saw Vuke as a freshman playing against [former all-state Trinity forward] Josh [Trumpy] — and they had offered Josh,” Shamrocks head coach Larry Kostelac Jr. recalled. “They saw Vuke.

“Jamion kept telling me, ‘I’m gonna come back and I’m gonna recruit that kid, I can see what you’re saying,’ “ Kostelac continued. “When he was down in the spring, he said, ‘I think I’m gonna offer him.’ “

Well, Christian’s offer came through.


 Christian, who is in his third season at his alma mater, piloted The Mount to a 16-17 record last season, a Northeast Conference playoff championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

“The first thing is I really like the coach,” said Vukelich, who missed almost all of his freshman year with injuries and spent most of last season on Trinity’s junior varsity since bigs Trumpy, Brandon Kuntz, Kyree Calli and Jack Walsh were in front of him.


“He’s a lot like one of the AAU coaches I’ve had. He was really great, too. And then the guys are a lot like me,” Vukelich continued. “I seemed to relate to them a lot. They’re not like too in your face or anything like that.”

While Christian is enamored with Vukelich’s perimeter skills and his mobility, the youthful Mount skipper also believes in the youngster’s potential as a 3-man or even a 4.

“I think it’s a great place for him,” Kostelac said. “He’s a good player, he really is. Last year he ran into a couple of things that he didn’t get as much time as we thought he was going to get. But at the end of the year, he played great against Susquehanna Twp. Vuke played a lot and he played well.

“That’s the night we beat them over there.”


 “They can see him two years from now, Jamion can see him,” Kostelac added.

“It’s like he told us, ‘We know we’re not looking at a finished product, but the bottom line is where he’s gonna be. That’s what we’re offering him for. He’s got to get there, but we believe he will.’ “






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