Wessels signs with Sioux FallsPublished 4:12pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Austin senior Zach Wessels made it official at Austin High School on Wednesday.
Wessels signed his national letter-of-intent to play basketball at Division II University of Sioux Falls, S.D. with a full athletic scholarship next season. Wessels signed in front of a group of supporters and he can now focus on Austin’s season, which will begin at New Prague Nov. 26.
“It felt great to have my family and friends there to support me and be there for this big moment of mine,” Wessels said.
Wessels worked his way into the starting lineup for the Packers as a freshman and he’s played in two state tournaments for Austin. He knew from the moment that he got to AHS that he had a chance to play college basketball, but he didn’t know what level it would be.
That’s why he spent a lot of his spare time in the gym and a lot of his summers on the road with his AAU teams over the past three years.
“I just worked hard and whatever happened was going to happen. I didn’t know where I’d go,” Wessels said.
Wessels is the third Packer to sign a basketball scholarship in the last two years. Last year, Austin’s Tom Aase also signed with USF and Joe Aase signed with Davidson College.
The Packers are hoping to have even more players sign on to play college ball in the future.
“I saw (Tom and Joe) do it last year so I kind of knew what to expect,” Wessels said. “I hope (this becomes a tradition). We have great talent here and I feel like we’ll be doing this for a long time.”
The Austin boys basketball team is already holding practice as it started earlier than usual this year.
“It’s kind of strange, but I’m just glad we’re finally getting going,” Wessels said.
USF, which went 12-15 overall this past season and Wessels is familiar with a few of his future USF teammates, including Tom Aase and Kebu Johnson, who played against the Packers for the Breck School at the state tournament this past season.
USF plays in the Northern Sun Conference, which is the top Division II conference in the country.
Wessels averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 steals while shooting 55 percent from the field for the Packers this past winter as Austin went 30-1 overall and took second in the Class ‘AAA’ state boys basketball tournament.
The Packers have won the last two Big Nine boys basketball titles.