CALGARY, AB–Most of you reading this have never heard of Vishal “The Sniper” Banipal, a Calgary, Alberta product who has been collecting MVP awards among seniors since the tenth grade.
Banipal played for Lester B. Pearson HS & CYDC Elite (AAU) during his years in Calgary, dominating the province; then crossed the border, moving to Lansing, Michigan to play for Southwest Academy.
It was simple. The prep school coaches gave the 6’1 combo guard a tryout, and if he was good enough, he would make the team.
“I played good enough to get the starting spot,” explained Banipal.
During his first and only year at Southwest Academy, Banipal highlighted the season with major performances including:
-26 points (six three-pointers) in his first game
-35-point outburst during a tournament in South Carolina
-30 points on 8-10 3P shooting against the prestigous IMG Academy (featured two commitments to St John’s University)
In the midst of a strong year, Banipal received NCAA interest from Liberty, Central Michigan, Idaho State and a load of Junior College offers.
“The Sniper” as his teammates referred to him, figured he would need to take the JUCO route in order make the jump to the NCAA, however when he received the call from Idaho State, the rest was history!
“It was the happiest day of my life,” expressed Banipal.
“Thank God I got that call from Idaho State. I knew I could play D1 basketball but I was prepared to take the JUCO route.”
The Alberta product will enter his freshman year with the ISU Bengals, who compete in the Big Sky conference. The official visit has been taken, the papers have been signed, and this Canadian will be on campus sooner than later.
“They took real good care of me, I met all the guys and now I’m ready to go up there”