Former Louisville Signee Eric Van Der Heijden Commits to Ole Miss

The power forward has found a new home just days after asking for his release from his NLI to play for the Cardinals.
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(Photo of Eric Van Der Heijden: HighSchoolOT.com)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Two days after being released from his National Letter of Intent to play for the Louisville men’s basketball program, Eric Van Der Heijden has found a new home.

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound power forward has committed to Ole Miss, he announced on Monday. The Rebels were the very first Power Five school to offer him a scholarship, and were included in his his top ten schools prior to his commitment to Louisville.

On Saturday, both he and point guard Bobby Pettiford were released from their from their National Letters of Intent. While the university simply stated that they were released to “pursue other opportunities”, both left as a result of the news that Louisville is parting way with assistant coach Dino Gaudio. Gaudio was the lead recruiter for both signees.

We have granted both their full release and wish them both well," head coach Chris Mack said in a statement. “I want them to be happy with their decision and find a place where they can be successful."

The Raleigh, N.C. averaged 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals as a junior last season for Millbrook, helping them earn a 23-4 record, falling in overtime in the third round of the North Carolina Class 4A state playoffs.

Despite the decommitments, Louisville is still bringing in JUCO point guard El Ellis, high schools seniors wing Michael James & center Roosevelt Wheeler, and Miami transfer forward Matt Cross to play for the Cardinals next season.

Louisville opened up the 2020-21 season at 9-1 and were ranked as high as the No. 16 team in the nation, but went 4-6 in the second half of the season to finish 13-7 and miss the NCAA Tournament.

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