Valparaiso men’s basketball head coach Bryce Drew announced today that a pair of big men, Daniel Relvao and Derrik Smits, have both signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Crusader program as freshmen for the 2015-16 season.
Relvao, a 6’9”, 235 lb. post player and native of Coimbra, Portugal, is currently playing his prep basketball for Mountain Mission [Va.] School, where he is coached by former Crusader director of basketball operations Pawel Mrozik. The senior, who has only been playing basketball for two seasons, has played for his home country of Portugal each of the last two years in Division B of the FIBA U18 European Championship. This past summer, he appeared in all nine of Portugal’s games as it went 6-3, averaging 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and a tournament-best 3.3 blocked shots per game.
“We are very excited to announce the addition of Daniel to our basketball family,” said Drew. “Daniel has great length and shot-blocking ability, as well as a very good touch from the floor. He has been coached very well by the Portuguese National Team coaches and by Coach Pawel Mrozik at Mountain Mission School, which should help with his transition to college.”
Smits comes to Valpo from Zionsville, Ind. The 7’0”, 230 lb. center averaged in double figures last season as a junior for the Eagles, while also posting 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game as Zionsville went 13-7 on the year. Smits brings a nice shooting touch to the Crusaders, as he shot 54 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the foul line last year. Smits is the son of former Indiana Pacers star center Rik Smits.
“We are thrilled to be announcing that Derrik is joining the Valpo family,” said Drew. “Derrik should make an immediate positive impact on our program. Not many players in the country have the combination of size and skill that he does. He also will fit in tremendously with how we play and with the players currently on our team. We are extremely excited to have him here next season.”