Austin’s Aase draws Division I offers

Published 10:38 pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

Austin’s Joe Aase attempts a jump shot at the Class ‘AAA’ state boys basketball tournament in March. Aase is beginning to receive offers from Division I schools. -- Herald File Photo

Austin junior Joe Aase has spent his fair share of time riding up to the Twin Cities for AAU practices and he’s also spent plenty of time traveling across the country for an AAU tournament in the past two years.

Now all of those hours on the road are beginning to pay their dividends as Aase has already received five Division I basketball full-ride scholarship offers.

“It’s really nice and it feels good to see hard work pay off,” Aase said. “It’ll be really nice to not have to pay for college and hopefully I get to go and play in the NCAA tourney.”

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Aase has received offers from Davidson College, Northeastern University, Lafayette University, the University of New Hampshire and The Citadel.

He’s hoping to land with a good school that is somewhat close to Austin that also has a good basketball program.

“I want to play for a winning team I want to get the most out of my scholarship,” said Aase, who plans to pick his school before Austin’s basketball season starts next year. “I want to get an education that’s going to help me later in life.”

Aase, who is playing with the Minnesota Magic Elite 17 and under team with his cousin Tom Aase, has already played in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Houston this spring and he’ll finally get a break this weekend before hitting a few tournaments in the Midwest.

While playing in the AAU circuit, Joe and Tom are able to look back at the past high school season that saw the Packers make it to the state basketball tournament for the first time in 30 years.

“I was just in Packer Gym for an assembly and I was looking back on the whole season, especially when it was packed for the Owatonna game,” Joe Aase said. “During the high school season, you can sometimes take the crowds for granted but when you’re playing AAU ball in gyms that are half empty with just parents, you miss it. The support we got was really cool.”

Playing in weekend tournaments across the country can be tough enough, but the Magic also hold two practices per week in the Twin Cities, which means a lot of driving for Aase. Still, the weekends are the hardest on him, especially for keeping up on homework.

“This year our team has a sponsor, so we’re able to fly to tournaments But it’s rough to be gone all weekend,” Aase said. “I try my best and it’s working pretty well.”

Aase led the Packers with 15.4 points per game this past season and he added 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per contest, while hitting on 42 percent of his three-pointers and 47 percent of his field goals.

Aase is projected to be a small forward or power forward at the next level so he’s been working on his outside game with the Magic Elite.

Aase is the first Austin player to receive a basketball scholarship offer since Brian Elwer signed with a Division II school in 1999.

Five Division I schools have made offers to Joe Aase so far:

Davidson College

Location: Davidson, North Carolina

Conference: Southern Conference

Last year’s record: 25-8 overall (advanced to NCAA Tournament)

Northeastern University

Location: Boston, Mass.

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association

Last year’s record: 14-17 overall

Lafayette University

Location: Easton, Pennsylvania

Conference: Patriot League

Last year’s record: 13-18 overall

University of New Hampshire

Location: Durham, New Hampshire

Conference: America East

Last year’s record: 13-16 overall

The Citadel

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Conference: Southern Conference

Last year’s record: 6-24 overall