Posted On: 09/11/17 1:37 PM
Last winter Owen Boerema led an experienced Litchfield team in scoring. Now an upperclassmen the 6-foot-3 guard is the leader of the program.
“This has been a great basketball summer,” Owen told Prep Hoops. “I attended an elite camp at Augustana and played against some top-level competition there. I also attended the Minnesota Top 100 Expo and got to play with some excellent players from around the state.
“My high school team has dedicated a lot of time toward preparing for the season, playing in two Breakdown tournaments and one Pacesetter tournament, winning our division in both Breakdown tourneys.
“My favorite part of the summer was attending an excellent camp at Northwestern College in Iowa with three of my high school teammates.”
Owen did the traditional spring and summer basketball competing by attending high school events as well as camps. How did this time help him?
“My biggest take away would be how my role on my high school team has changed, going from being the only starting sophomore among seniors to being the sole returning starter this year. Being more assertive is my biggest challenge as we go into the new season.”
More pressure will be on Owen’s shoulders to produce. His 18.6 points a game was vital but now he may have to do more filling up the stat sheet in many different ways.
“I am working on becoming stronger and more explosive,” Owen told Northstar Hoops. “If I do this, I will improve as a rebounder and will get to the rim more frequently. These are two of my goals. Strengthening and increased explosiveness will also help my defense.”
Coach John Carlson retired and seniors like Noah Kreger and Brandon Nelson have graduated but this is a good program. Other players will step in that have been well taught.
“We have a lot of new players coming up this year,” Boerema said. “We have a different skill set than we had last year. We are taller and longer; we have some inexperience, but I look for us to be competitive.
“We have Alex Gruenke returning to the varsity as a great outside shooter. With some height in the paint, we should have a versatile game. I hope for us to be in the top three in our conference. We are in a whole new section so it will be interesting to see how things shake out.”
Schools have become aware of Owen through his summer of work and through his excellent sophomore season.
“I have gotten letters from Winona State and Sioux Falls University. Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa has shown verbal interest and so has St. John’s. I am hoping this season sparks increased interest.”
At Litchfield there are many guys to learn from and two Dragons have really influenced the way Owen plays and competes.
“One of our seniors last year, Jon Madsen, has influenced my game by showing me how to play with integrity and class. Jon also was an extremely hard worker.
“Another player who has affected me is Alex Carlson, the eldest son of Coach Carlson. He is a great shooter, but he always got his teammates involved. One other person who has influenced me is the aforementioned Coach John Carlson. He has always said that he doesn’t only want us to be good basketball players, but good men.
“My favorite player is probably Stephen Curry, just for the energy he plays with and the way he carries himself.”