According to the NCAA website, there is a 21% chance that a Division I men’s basketball player will play at the professional level after college. Sacred Heart University alumni Sean Hoehn and Jare’l Spellman are a part of that 21%.
Hoehn and Spellman signed professional contracts for the upcoming basketball season. Hoehn will be playing for KB Bashkimi located in Prizren, Kosovo, while Spellman will play with Team Fog Naestved located in Denmark.
“It is always very gratifying to see any of your players achieve their goals and dreams. It is especially satisfying when it is two people that you respect and admire so much because they always did things the right way,” said Anthony Latina, men’s head basketball coach.
For Spellman, who has been in Denmark for a few weeks now, the atmosphere is drastically different amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is totally different especially in the times that we are in now. People are back to regular times before the pandemic unlike back at home,” said Spellman.
Hoehn, who graduated in 2019, had to wait for a contract to come through. The process of receiving a contract is not easy.
“I signed with an agent who found me a team who was interested,” said Hoehn. “I was out golfing with my dad and brother when I got the news. My dad actually hit a hole-in-one that day and a couple holes after I got the call. It was a very exciting day.”
Former teammate Aaron Clarke, who played with both Spellman and Hoehn, noted that Hoehn is an extremely hardworking, skilled player and a great leader, making him a perfect teammate for the next level.
“He will lead by example and with his voice. He can shoot the ball with the best of them,” said Clarke.
According to Sacred Heart Athletics, Hoehn ranks 23rd all-time in program history with a total of 1,366 points. He also had a total of 185 three pointers, placing him fifth in the program’s Division I history.
Spellman will bring a defensive mindset to Team Fog. Spellman was the program’s block leader, totaling at 183, 96 of which were this past season, also a program record. Spellman was also named the 2019-2020 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, an honor given for the first time in program history.
“Team Fog is getting one of the best shot blockers in the country whose game has gotten better and better with each year that passes,” said Clarke. “He has a high motive and works hard and is a great teammate and leader.”
Spellman believes that what he experienced at Sacred Heart has prepared him for the professional level.
“The strength and conditioning coaches did a great job making sure we were in good shape,” Spellman said. “When I went to practice, I was one of the most physically conditioned guys out there.”
Senior Zach Radz, who also played with Spellman and Hoehn, explained that they were a pleasure to play with. Not only were they very talented players, but they consistently displayed positivity.
“They both made the game easier for not just myself, but our whole team,” said Radz.
“It was a pleasure and a privilege to be able to coach both Sean and Jarel,” said Latina. “Both were everything you could want in a student athlete. Their character and integrity are at the highest level. They represented our program and our university in a first-class manner. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach these two individuals.”