Kurt Steidl still had a bunch of official visits left.
He didn’t need them.
After making his first official visit to the University of Vermont last weekend, Steidl knew where he wanted to play college basketball.
“I kind of fell in love with the place,” said Steidl, a 6’6” senior swingman for the Ridgefield High boys basketball team. “Me and my parents sat down when we got back and I told them it was the perfect fit for me. They agreed.”
On Monday, Steidl made a verbal commitment to attend Vermont next fall and play for the men’s basketball team. He will sign a National Letter of Intent in November.
Steidl, who made both the All-FCIAC and Class LL All-State first teams following last season, said Vermont’s track record was one of the reasons behind his decision. The Catamounts have made five NCAA Division I tournament appearances since 2003, earning berths by winning the America East Conference championship.
One of those NCAA tourney appearances came last season, as Vermont went 24-12 and win the America East title.
“They always have a chance to make the NCAA tournament,” said Steidl about the Catamounts. “That was definitely a factor for me.”
Steidl, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds for RHS in 2011-12, is a deadly outside shooter who also can drive to the basket. That combination caught the Vermont coaching staff’s attention.
“They liked my versatility,” he said. “I can play multiple positions, handle the ball, and shoot.”
Steidl said one area of his game does need work for the transition to the Division I level
“I need to get stronger,” said Steidl, who also considered Dartmouth, Brown, Northeastern, New Hampshire, Colgate and Columbia. “I will be focusing on that in the next year.”
Steidl is also determined to end his high school career with a flourish this winter.
“We have three starters back and several other players who got time last season,” he said. “Ridgefield has never won an FCIAC title or a state championship, but those are our goals.”