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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


New kid on the block: Meet Devin Vanterpool, the newest addition to FAU Basketball

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound point guard had interest around the country as a recruit, but chose FAU where he’s looking to become the next of several talented guards.
David Cordova/Dave’s Joint
Devin Vanterpool stares down his opponent against Archbishop Stepinac High School on January 22, 2023.

When it came to where he wanted to play college basketball, Devin Vanterpool had options. 

As he was coming out of high school less than a year ago, the 6-foot-3-inch, 175-pound point guard from Laurel, Maryland had interest from several Division I programs across the country. He was being recruited by three-time national champion Villanova University, as well as St. Bonaventure University, where his father, David, was the Bonnies’ leading scorer as a senior in 1994.

With those programs and more vying for his talent, Vanterpool took his official visit to FAU in February 2023. On this visit, as the Owls were on a 23-1 hot streak and closing in on a C-USA Championship, Vanterpool and his parents met with head coach Dusty May inside his office at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. 

His meeting with May left such an impression on him that Vanterpool said that was the moment he decided he would be continuing his athletic career at FAU.

A month after his visit, on March 12, a day after the Owls had secured their first NCAA Tournament bid in two decades with a C-USA Championship, Vanterpool committed to Florida Atlantic. 

Recruiting experts fawned over his ability to play both ends of the floor and knack for attacking the rim on offense. But in his own words, Vanterpool said that wasn’t the most important thing he’ll bring to the table for an already well-established FAU team. 

“Someone that plays hard and always supports my guys,” said Vanterpool on what kind of player he is. “You’re getting someone that whenever their number gets called, they’ll just go hard.”


Vanterpool’s introduction to the game of basketball was much different than most.

His earliest basketball memory was as a three-year-old, wandering around the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility where his father David, a former NBA player himself now an assistant for the Washington Wizards, worked for the Thunder as a front office executive. 

“I was like three, maybe four, and my dad had just started in the front office at OKC. I just remember being there and walking around, then seeing the actual basketball court for the first time,” said Vanterpool. “Oh, and meeting Kevin Durant.”

Despite his close proximity to the game through his father, who played a short stint with the Brooklyn Nets before continuing his career overseas, basketball was one of the few sports he didn’t play as a kid. It wasn’t until he was much older, and through his own will, that he began to gravitate to the game. 

“I actually started playing basketball seriously, not like playground or pickup, like in an actual structured league until like summer of eighth grade,” said Vanterpool. 

He said his father never pressured him into basketball and just “let him pick it,” and that’s how he ended up beginning his career playing high school basketball at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minnesota. 

His father was then the associate head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves, before being hired as an assistant coach by the Nets in 2019, forcing Vanterpool to make the transfer to Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, New York. 

Joining a new team and finding your role is a heavy task for any player. Doing so on a team like the Christ the King that had plenty of talent already on the roster, as Vanterpool did, is even harder. But he made his way into the starting lineup and became a key cog of a team that was held as one of the best in the country. 

“I would just say that it matured me a lot,” said Vanterpool of his time playing at Christ the King. 

It was there that he got a taste of playing professionally, facing a schedule not like many high schools play; sending them across the country, even overseas to London for an invitational tournament in December 2022 that kicked off Vanterpool’s senior season. 

A month after their two games in England, Christ the King, ranked 22nd in the nation at the time, traveled across the country to California for an ESPN televised matchup against 25th ranked Sierra Canyon High School. Seated courtside was NBA superstar Lebron James, there to watch his two sons who played for Sierra Canyon. Carmelo Anthony, 10-time NBA all star and father of Vanterpool’s teammate Kiyan Anthony, was in attendance. Celebrities Kim and Khloe Kardashian also made an appearance. 

“Didn’t expect it to be like that; it was pretty nerve-racking,” said Vanterpool, but added that it was games like these that prepared him for the grind of playing college basketball. 

It was at this time during Vanterpool’s senior season at Christ the King that his recruitment was heating up. 

He had interest from Villanova and Howard University. He took an official visit to St. Bonaventure, who wanted to bring him to his father’s alma mater. But it was watching the Owls down Louisiana Tech University 90-85 in overtime during his official visit to FAU, and the impression May left on him, that made up Vanterpool’s mind.

“It was just the way he was speaking,” said Vanterpool, noting how May’s laser focus on basketball reminded him of his father. “I could really tell that he knew so much about the game; he knew so much about basketball. Everything in his mind is fully locked in on basketball.” 


Now, starting his freshman year, Vanterpool has found himself in a plight oddly similar to the one he found himself in as a junior in high school. 

Just like when he had to find his place as a transfer at Christ the King, he’s now looking to find his place on an FAU squad that’s not only returning their core group of players, but essentially the whole roster after a trip to the Final Four. 

May avoided what seems like the inevitable for many coaches by remaining as one of the five out of 358 Division I programs to not have any players transfer, and only one graduate shooting guard Michael Forrest. This left just one scholarship spot open, now filled by Vanterpool.

Forrest was a five-year veteran for the Owls and the best three-point shooter in program history, and his departure will leave a void on the court and in the locker room. But the short time he’s spent with the team in the offseason has some in the locker room excited about what Vanterpool can bring as he tries to fill those shoes; especially on the defensive end.

“When I came in as a freshman I couldn’t guard a soul,” said junior guard Alijah Martin. “He’s looking like one of those guys that can guard. He’s in the gaps, he’s staying in front of the ball, he’s playing the passing lanes. He’s looking good defensively. Going into next year I’m pretty sure we could use that.”

Martin was Owls’ second leading scorer last season and will fill one of the two starting guard spots alongside junior all-conference guard Johnell Davis, who Vanterpool said, “have already been showing me the ways. Those two are like my big bros.”

Fans will have to wait til the Owls’ season-opener in November to see what recruiting experts and his teammates raved about in Vanterpool. But he said until then, fans should know they’re getting someone authentic.

“I’m just a real person,” said Vanterpool on one thing fans should know about him. “I’m just always going to be myself no matter what.”

Cameron Priester is the Editor-at-large for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron

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Cameron Priester
Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large
Cameron Priester is an Editor-at-Large for the University Press. Having served as Sports Editor for the 2022-23 academic year, he is a multimedia journalism major and intends on pursuing a career in sports journalism. He can be found on Twitter @PriesterCameron and you can email him at [email protected].

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