HOUSTON -- Friday morning started as a typical day for University of Houston junior guard Wes VanBeck. However, it didn't take long to become one of the most memorable days in his young life.
Working out with his Houston teammates at 7 a.m., Friday, VanBeck ran a mile on the Cougars' outdoor track and headed inside for an energetic session in the weight room inside the $25 million Guy V. Lewis Development Facility.
From there, VanBeck and the Cougars hit the practice court for a 30-minute session under the guidance of Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. However, Sampson stopped Friday's final team practice of the summer short five minutes for a special announcement.
With the team lined up at halfcourt facing Sampson, support staff members brought a table and chair out to midcourt, and Sampson placed a packet of papers and a pen on the table. The two-time National Coach of the Year talked about student-athletes during his career who received what they earned, and he was more than happy to deliver that Friday.
VanBeck, who had worked for his first two years as a walk-on with the Cougars, would be rewarded with a full athletics scholarship to the University of Houston... if he wanted it and didn't have any visits to other schools on his schedule.
VanBeck was instantly mobbed by his teammates, and after a lot of hugs, high fives and handshakes, made his way to the table to sign the paperwork. With his proud parents, Sarah and Scott VanBeck, watching, Wes put his signatures and the date down twice and became the Cougars' newest scholarship recipient.
In his first two years with the Cougars, VanBeck has made his teammates better in practice but also enjoyed great moments on the court during games. He scored 12 points, burying all four 3-point attempts in a home win against USF as a freshman on March 1, 2015, and scored 11 points, with three treys, in only nine minutes (mostly in the extra periods) during the Cougars' 97-93 road win in double overtime at East Carolina on Jan. 30.
VanBeck and his Cougar teammates begin classes for the the fall semester Aug. 22 with weight room sessions and small-group practice sessions following shortly after.
SEASON TICKETS RENEWAL
Current season-ticket holders now have the opportunity to renew their seats for the 2016-17 season. Season-ticket holders can visit uhcougars.com/mbbrenew, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and renew their season tickets online.
Current season-ticket holders have until Sept. 5 to renew their seats inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans will be able to purchase new season tickets beginning in mid-September online at UHCougars.com or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).
ABOUT the COUGARS
Houston was one of only two teams in the league, which defeated every American Athletic Conference rival at least once during the regular season.
With only the 15th 22-win season in school history, the Cougars boasted a 9-game improvement from their 13-19 mark in 2014-15. That total ranked as the 13th-highest improvement among 351 NCAA Division I schools in 2015-16.
2016-17 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
While the American Athletic Conference schedule has not yet been announced, the Cougars will play eight of its 10 league rival twice and the two remaining rivals once each -- one at home and one on the road.
Houston will face Cincinnati, East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UConn and USF in home and away contests. The Cougars will face Temple inside Hofheinz Pavilion while competing against USF in Tampa, Fla., only.
JOIN the 50-50-CLUB
Fans are invited to join the 50-50 Club to support Houston Men's Basketball. 50-50 Club members help fund program necessities and enhance the experience for our student-athletes.
Fans who join the 50-50 Club will receive embroidered team apparel, a signed basketball, invitations to practice, a tour of the $25 million Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, regular updates about the program and much more.
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Men's Basketball news and notes on the team's Facebook page by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops or by visiting the team's Instagram page at UHCougarMBK.