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Posted On: 07/2/18 12:28 PM
Saguaro basketball rising senior Kyler Mikkelsen sat down with Prep Hoops writer Eric Newman to discuss the Southwest All-American Camp and how he is preparing this summer for his final season of high school ball.
Newman: So, we’re out here at the Southwest All-American Camp. How does it feel to be playing with and against a lot of the best players in Arizona?
Mikkelsen: I really did a lot better than I was expecting, because I didn’t know how well I would do out here. I held my own pretty good, and I got a few stops and hit some buckets. It felt good.
What about college basketball? How has the recruiting process gone?
I’ve gotten some NCSA interest, but nothing too official yet. I’ve gotten some invites to camps and stuff, but I need to keep working to get to that point.
What do you need to do to improve your game and get more exposure so those offers come in?
I need to keep working on my athleticism and quickness, which I’ve been doing a lot between the end of last season and now. It’s gotten a lot better, but I need to keep improving. I also need to just be more confident on the floor and take more risks.
Is that confidence something you can practice? How do you plan on improving that?
It’s just more reps in games. If I take risks and really put myself out there in games, I’ll get more comfortable. I also need to keep playing pick-up basketball, so I can improve and have that practice against good players.
What is motivating you in these summer workouts and camps?
I know what I’m capable of, and I just want to show everyone what I can do. I’ve had a lot of doubters, and I’m working harder than ever to prove people wrong. I love the game, too, so I’m doing as much as I can to keep getting better for myself and so that colleges will be interested in the future.
What skills do you have that will be valuable for college programs, as well as your senior year moving forward?
My three-pointer is really good, and I see the floor pretty well. If I get my handle more tight, I think I can be a pretty good scorer with all those skills.
You’re 6-foot-6, are you the tallest player on your high school team?
Does that mean you play a lot down low in high school ball?
I really am happy doing whatever coaches want me to do to help the team win. But, for college and club ball, I’m more comfortable on the wing. And when I play in college, when everyone’s a little taller and I won’t have to be the biggest guy on the floor. But, having to guard a lot of big guys is definitely helping my defensive game so I can have more experience.
Is there one skill that you need to improve on in your last season to improve to cement your place on a college team, and to have the best senior year possible?
I need to make my scoring more versatile. I mentioned dribbling before, so if I can do that and get to the basket better, that will be big. I can hit jumpers, and I can hit the one-dribble pull-up, but I need to be able to get all the way to the hoop to be the best I can on that end. On defense, I’ve been working on my on-ball defense a lot, and I need to keep getting quicker. I have noticed myself getting better there. I think it’s going to be a good last run.