Posted On: 09/18/18 1:00 PM

***Photo credit: Winona Daily News***

St. Charles has consistently been one of the best programs in Class AA. If the Saints are going to continue their winning ways, they’ll need a big senior season from Drew Leistikow.

Leistikow, a 6-foot-3 senior, averaged 17 points and nine rebounds as a junior, and averaged 11 points and six boards as a sophomore. He spent the grassroots season with Southeast Minnesota Lightning where he played a different role.

“It was really nice to get out and play,” Leistikow said. “It’s a good time playing with those guys. I’m pretty familiar with a lot of these guys because they are from the same area. With my AAU team I’m looking to fill a role. If we need scoring I’ll score. If we need boards, I’ll do that. Anything we need I can do that. With the high school team I’ve got a big offensive role.”

Leistikow profiles as a wing player at the next level given his size, athleticism and skillset. With his high school team, he’s one of the biggest guys; so he spends a lot of time defending and working against opposing big men. The opportunity to play on the wing and defend guards in AAU was beneficial for him.

“It helped me a lot defending faster guys,” said Leistikow. “I’m willing to play down low. I can play physical. But I think I need to get quicker laterally because I will have to defend those kinds of guys.”

His offensive game is solid in that he’s productive without compromising the effectiveness of his teammates. He’s a strong cutter off the ball and can finish in traffic. He’s at his best either in transition or when he can attack the rim but his outside shot is coming along too. He’s relentless on the offensive and defensive glass and his aggressiveness fosters consistency.

Leistikow’s drawn a lot of interest from local colleges about playing at the next level. He’s also keeping his options open regarding football.

“Talking to Gustavus, Bethany Lutheran, Briar Cliff, Hamline, Augsburg, Crown and a few others,” Leistikow said. “I’ve taken a visit to Gustavus. I’m still considering football as well. I’m keeping my options open for now. I’m no hurry.”