Posted On: 01/2/18 11:21 AM
Last season, the Win-E-Mac Patriots finished with a record of 22-7, losing in the sub-section semifinals. They graduated their two leading scorers from that squad in Hunter Chaput and Alex Kiecker. Their schedule to open up this season has been a challenging one, with the Patriots currently sitting with a 4-4 record. Says coach Vern Johnson “We have played a tough schedule too so far, teams we have lost to have a combined 24-3 record.”
They returned a number of players with considerable amounts of talent and varsity experience, but maybe none more important that 6’8” junior, Brekken Lindberg.
Early on in the season, Lindberg is averaging close to 14 points, 7 rebounds, and over 2 blocks per game to anchor the team. It has taken this group a few games to really start to gel, Lindberg says “Although I feel we’ve had a relatively slow start, mostly due to adjusting to our new roles and getting back into the rhythm of the season, I think my team and I are now playing very well together. Many of us have had varsity experience for three years, so we are comfortable playing with each other.”
The agility and quickness for a player his size is rare, and Brekken tries to use that in his favor on the court, saying “I utilize my size and strength often and I am much faster than most bigs my size. I have a solid mid-range shot and drive aggressively. I’ve become a better rebounder and post defender.”
As is common with most young bigs, especially at smaller schools where opposing big men standing 6’8” are few and far between, Lindberg’s game had previously been largely reliant on working in the post. Lindberg is working to improve his all-around game, saying “I am working on getting more comfortable playing outside, and getting a better free throw percentage. I’ve been doing more work with ball handling and foot speed/agility training a lot, so I can be a better perimeter defender and utilize the fast break more often.”
Lindberg spent his summer playing for the MN Heat (MacDonald) 16U team, and the experience has proved to be valuable for him. “It was a good experience and I learned a lot playing with them over the summer, such as attacking the rim more and playing more aggressively. I am utilizing what I learned to help me have a better high school season.”
Lindberg says that he has been in contact with St. John’s (MN) and a few other schools, but no decisions have been made. In regards to a college choice, Lindberg says “I am looking for a strong athletic program and also a strong academic program in my major (possibly something in the medical or engineering fields), I’m looking for a competitive sports program with a positive culture and a coach that pushes me and tells me what mistakes I’m making so I can learn from them as well as a team that’s hardworking.”
With his size (6’8”, 220 lbs.) and his blossoming perimeter game, Lindberg will be a fun player to watch grow and develop for the remainder of this high school season and into the grassroots season and his senior year.