Former Harvard forward Andrew Van Nest ’12 will be playing for the Boston College Eagles next season as a graduate student fulfilling his last season of eligibility. The 6’10”, 230-pound forward was part of a senior class, along with former co-captains Keith Wright ’12 and Oliver McNally ’12, which oversaw the transition of the Crimson basketball program from traditional doormat to Ivy League champion under the tutelage of Harvard coach Tommy Amaker.
Coming into his freshman season, Van Nest was the highest ranked member of the Class of 2012 to matriculate to Harvard. During his senior season at the prestigious basketball prep school Northfield Mount Herman, high school home to current Crimson standouts Laurent Rivard and Matt Brown, Van Nest received offers from Davidson, Northwestern, and Penn, and was considered by many to be a steal for Amaker and his coaching staff.
Shoulder surgery derailed his freshman season, as Van Nest missed every game, and despite his recovery, Van Nest never regained his previous form and struggled with injuries the remainder of his career.
Van Nest only saw action in one game his senior season, in a win against his new teammates at Boston College on Dec. 29, 2011. Under Harvard and the Ivy League’s eligibility rules, Van Nest would have been required to take a year off of school in order to return and play for the Crimson next season. Though rare, fifth-year seniors such as quarterback Collier Winters ’11 and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year defensive lineman Josue Ortiz ’11 have seen success in the recent past.
Instead, Van Nest remained in school and graduated in May. Under NCAA eligibility regulations, his freshman season counted as a redshirt leaving him with an extra year of eligibility which he will fulfill with the Eagles in the 2012-13 season while pursuing a graduate degree.
Boston College is looking for a turnaround season after going 9-22, and 4-12 in the ACC, last season.