Posted On: 08/25/17 12:00 PM
For several years now, Iowa Intensity’s 2018 group has been establishing themselves as one of the best grassroots teams in all of Iowa. Initially, they were a bit of a surprise, then they became somewhat of a sensation, by the end of last spring — especially after their defeat of a stacked Martin Bros 17U — it was clear that the team was indeed an elite one in Iowa. We’ve written plenty about the guys on that squad, and Garrett Sturtz and Zaine Leedom are among the highest-rated guys in the 2018 class. Here, we finish a series that gives Intensity founder and 17U head coach Chris Hansen a chance to sound-off about his guys.
“Another kid that we had the pleasure of having him play one year with us. He improved, I’d say, from April to July, in terms of his outside shooting ability, more than anyone on the team. He was able to mix his ability of going to the basket with that outside shooting ability, and it made him a really tough player in July. There’s a some kids in Oskaloosa that get a lot of press there in Oskaloosa who are younger than him, but he’s going to be the one who makes the biggest difference in whether they go to state or not, I would say. He’s just an all-around good player as far as scoring, passing, defender. When we played the Barnstormers he guarded Joey Hauser (Marquette), and he was very physical with him and played him tough in that game. He’s a good player. I think William Penn has offered him, and I think he’s had a few other schools contact him.”
He’s grown a little bit in the last year or so, so he’s gone from being about 5’10 to about 6’1 now. He’s just an all-around heady ball player. He finds the open man, he’s very good at doing that, and that’s probably what makes him a pretty good quarterback for football. He’s a big-time team player, he’s all about the team. He’s the ‘rah-rah’ guy that brings the team together, and I think he does that for East Marshall as well. He’s a good shooter as well, and will knock it down if you leave him. Last season when Lynnville-Sully played East Marshall, he got hot in that game and scored 25 points in no time. He’s also been on our team since 6th or 7th grade and it’s been a joy to have him around, just becasue he’s such a team player.”
“He’s another kid who’s kind of an under-the-radar type guy because he’s not overly athletic. But he’s so skilled, and gets the job done, and knows what to do. When other teams would try and play zone, he was the zone-buster, as far as if you got it to him in the middle he could turn and shoot, or create a shot for some else. He’s such a good passer for a bigger guy, he plays the four spot at Lynnville-Sully. He’s one of the better rebounders on our team, and would usually draw the assignment on defense as far as guarding the other team’s biggest and strongest guy. He would have been guarding Hauser in Kasnas had he been there, but he was at a church camp that weekend. He just plays smart, he just always knows where to be and where the ball needs to be and things like that. He’s a tough player.”
“He was one of our most physical, taller guard defenders. Offensively, he didn’t look for his shot a whole lot, and sometimes I think that just came down to confidence a lot for him. There was a couple tournaments last year where where he lit it up shooting-wise, but usually he’s more of a slasher and a shut-down guy on defense. I think for Albia, he’ll be looking for a couple of the other guys who are good shooters on that team. This would have been the third year he played with us. We played against his Southern Iowa Thunder team for several years before he decided to play with us. We really enjoyed having him and his family around for the last few years.”