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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 01 2013

Bison men's basketball lands Wisconsin teammates

FARGO – It was over a year ago when the North Dakota State men’s basketball team extended a recruiting rarity. The Bison offered scholarships to three high school teammates in Wisconsin.

The final result: two out of three ain’t bad.

Guard Jake Showalter and forward Evan Wesenberg said yes to the Bison, and will be part of the 2014 freshman class.

“Two out of three is very good,” said Germantown head coach Steve Showalter, Jake’s father.

It will be a busy next few years for the Showalters, whose son Zak is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin.

“We’ll sit down with the two schedules and work it out the best we can,” Steve Showalter said. “There will be a few flights or drives to Fargo. I also coach my team and we’ll get to Madison, Wis., as much as we can.”

Recruiting Germantown players has been just as hectic. Guard Lamonte Bearden, the other player NDSU offered, verbally committed to the University of Buffalo. Center Luke Fischer is a freshman at Indiana.

Germantown has won two straight Division I state championships. Jake Showalter had offers from The Citadel and Division II schools Winona State and Northern Michigan.

“You deal with it as a coach and then you’re dealing with it as a dad,” Steve Showalter said. “Emotions sometimes get involved, but for the most part we just took things as they came, did our research and weighed the positives and the negatives. We feel it worked out for the best.”

NDSU had some history in its corner. Steve Showalter and NDSU head coach Saul Phillips both played under the same head coach at Wisconsin-Platteville.

“The trust factor came into play in that my kid will be playing for somebody I know,” Steve said.

The 6-foot-2 Jake Showalter in a 3-point shooting marksman who has school and state tournament records to his credit. The 6-7 Wesenberg is athletic and fast and will move from the perimeter to the starting center this season.

“He can run like a deer,” Steve Showalter said. “He can run all day and do the athletic things around the rim.”

Wesenberg had offers from South Dakota and the University at Albany (N.Y.).

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia