April 17, 2014
Holland native Willem Brandwijk and Jimmy Paige of Virginia Beach each submitted signed National Letters of Intent confirming their desire to attend Siena and play basketball starting in the fall. The Siena compliance office verified that the NLI's had been validated by the conference office and NCAA Thursday.
"Willem and Jimmy are great students," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. "They're high character young men and I look forward to coaching them. Both will battle for minutes right away. I'm grateful to have them. They will be the type of players the Siena program prides itself on - tough on the court, gentlemen off the court."
Brandwijk, listed at 6-8, 220-pounds is finishing up his scholastic career at the Holderness School in Plymouth, N.H. Siena junior Imoh Silas also attended the Holderness School.
"I really like what (Jimmy) Patsos has done so far," Brandwijk said in a recent interview with the Albany Times Union. "One of the reasons I chose Siena is because he has done such a great job already. When I see them play, it can only lead to improvement. They're already doing great."
Brandwijk began playing basketball at age 6 and competed on the Dutch under-15 and under-16 national teams. He moved to the United States two years ago. Brandwijk also plays for the Metro Boston AAU team, a nationally competitive program that produced UConn guard and 2014 NCAA Tournament MVP Shabazz Napier.
"Willem played in the best prep school league in the country," Patsos said. "As we've seen with Imoh, the character and academics are a given. "
Paige, listed as a 6-foot-5, 212-pound guard/forward, attended Cape Henry Collegiate, a preparatory school in Virginia Beach.
"I have a lot of good people around me and I did a lot of research on the school ahead of time," Paige told the Times Union
of Siena. "People that I trust all said it looked like a good fit for me. The way that (Patsos) was connecting with me, contacted me, it just seemed like the right fit and I didn't have to wait."
Paige averaged 14 points and eight rebounds this past season and started for a Dolphins team that was ranked 18 nationally by CBS/MaxPreps and went undefeated until the VISAA State Championship Game. He was named to the First-Team All-Tidewater Conference.
"Cape Henry Collegiate is one of the top programs in the country," Patsos said. "Coach Hall is a tremendous coach, so I know Jimmy is game ready."
Brandwijk and Paige join a Siena program that returns every player who averaged more than five minutes from this year's team that won 20 games and a CBI Championship.