IMG academy alumnus Jesper Kasanen, currently a sophmore golfer for the Pacific Tigers, was named to the 2015-16 West Coast Conference Men's Golf All-Academic Team. Kasanen, a native of Finland, played in half of the Tigers' tournaments on the year while posting a 75.92 stroke average. His best finish also came at the Del Walker Intercollegiate where he came in at 42nd in the standings. In the classroom, Kasanen sports the highest GPA of the all-academic honorees at 3.92 in Business Administration.
Today, IMG Academy announced Brian Nash, an NCAA Division I head and assistant coach for more than 20 years, as its new Director of Basketball. Nash joins IMG Academy from Duquesne University where he was the Associate Head Coach, overseeing student-athlete recruitment and backcourt player development, as well as playing a significant role in mentoring student-athletes.
A native of the island nation of Bermuda, junior Leah Smith is one of the most diversely talented students at IMG Academy. She is a tremendously talented soccer player and plays on the Bermuda Women’s National Soccer U17 and U20 teams. Meanwhile, she is a model student that boasts a 4.7 cumulative GPA. In addition to her dedication to extracurricular activities, she was named as the latest IMG Academy Student-Athlete of the Week.
The NCAA Regular Signing Period opened on April 13, and many IMG Academy students are still weighing their options on where to commit. But for guard D’Mitrik Trice and forward Aleem Ford, they ended their recruitment by committing to the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball program recently, and signed their National Letters of Intent this week.
Trice chose the Badgers over offers from Ohio State, Vanderbilt, DePaul and several other programs. Ford chose to join his friend over offers from the likes of Rutgers, Richmond and American.
IMG Academy alumnus Kenny Shrimpton attended IMG Academy for seven years as a student, and played soccer for the first six of those years. Heading into his senior year in 2014-15, the England native made the full-time switch to Track & Field and has thrived. As a true freshman for the Embry-Riddle Eagles, Shrimpton set program best marks in the 100m (10.54s) and 200m dash (21.27s), in addition to bests in 4x100m (41.86s), 4x200m (1:28:58) and 4x400m relays (3:17:64).
IMG Academy defender Rebecca Leibbrandt has signed a Nationl Letter of Intent to join Division-I Grand Canyon University of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Originally from Germantown, Tenn., Leibbrandt has grown up in Bradenton, Florida.
"Rebecca Leibbrandt is a great player and a fantastic person. She epitomizes the attitude and culture that we want here at GCU," remarked GCU head coach Derek Leader. "She comes from the IMG Academy where she trains daily on all the aspects of her game including speed, strength and psychology."
The Fort Wayne Tincaps are the Class A minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The team took its name from the storybook version of folk hero Johnny Appleseed, who is said to have worn a tin cap, but the team also has several notable IMG Academy ties.
Denmark native Hjalte Froholdt had an unusual path to play Division-I football. His path included a breakout year at IMG Academy in 2014, where he recorded 58 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 7.5 sacks, starting every game in spite of a preseason hand injury, and helped lead the Ascenders to a 10-1 overall record and its first top-15 national computer ranking.
BRADENTON -- It was a twist between two defenders, before a behind-the-back and through-the-legs shot against another defender that one-hopped into the net that garnered national attention recently for Tehoka Nanticoke.
The IMG Academy senior lacrosse player landed himself on ESPN Sportscenter's Top 10 plays list with the No. 2 play of the night following the highlight-reel goal.
"It was pretty crazy; I didn't expect that," Nanticoke said. "It just happened really quick with the position of my stick, and I just shot it. Seeing it on ESPN was pretty cool."
The NCAA Regular Signing Period began on April 13, and at a special ceremony this week, 26 Ascenders were honored as they signed National Letters of Intents. With the current signing period ongoing until August 1, 2016, this week’s signees marked only the latest wave of many more commitments to come over the next several months as students make their final decisions.