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Posted On: 06/22/18 2:36 PM
Champlin Park wing Bennett Otto scored 17 a game this winter and followed that up playing a solid role with the Howard Pulley Panthers. Otto also recently received a scholarship offer from Augustana.
“I know Augustana is great academically and also athletically,” Otto said after receiving the offer. “A great academic school is very appealing to me and I know my sports career is going to end sooner or later. The Augustana coaching staff is outstanding. They told me everything upfront and what they saw in me. The coaches are guys that can make anyone feel at home and make you feel wanted. That is what makes Augustana such a great option.”
The 6-foot-4 Bennett Otto is hearing from several college programs but two are contacting him the most from the NSIC.
“The schools that have been in contact for me have been Augustana and Southwest Minnesota State,” Otto said. “I plan on taking another visit to Augustana here sometime soon and also Southwest Minnesota State.
“SMSU has been in contact with me for awhile. Coach Biliger and Coach Smith have been communicating with me I just haven’t met them in person yet or have visited the school yet.”
With the Panthers in EYBL play Otto is scoring just under six points a game coming off the bench as a shooting threat.
“Some of my top moments of my 17u season so far have been playing in the EYBL, seeing the competition there and the atmosphere is crazy and something I won’t get to experience again,” Otto explained.
“Overall my top moments are just spending time with the team and getting closer with those guys. This summer our team is looking to win out the rest of our tournaments. Even though we didn’t qualify for Peach Jam, we still want to make a statement this summer.”
Another group making a statement is Champlin Park. Otto is the team’s top returning scorer but fellow seniors Jacob Johnson and Kato Seley have had really strong springs playing 17u and then you add Alex John inside it’s a good senior group. But wait, there is more. Juwan Grant, Cooper Olson, and Jared Walter are all having great years at 16u. You take all of this talent and bring it into the 18-19 season, that’s a top ten level program next year.
“We have a lot of pieces coming back, three starters and a very deep bench,” Otto said. “We will be loaded with seniors that saw varsity minutes last year and should be very experienced. The expectations for this year will be to make it to state. We have the talent and depth to make it there.
“For my senior year, I want to improve my dribbling ability so I can get past defenders easier and get my teammates more open looks. I want improve my mid-range game so I can become more versatile. And the last thing is my strength, I want to be able to finish through contact easier and finish at a higher percentage.”