Posted On: 02/17/20 1:14 PM

The left-handed sharpshooter was going to be a star when he first set foot on the hardwood at Dakota Valley. Paul Bruns played limited time as an 8th grader and by his sophomore season was already averaging 25.3 points per game and leading Jason Kleis’ Panthers. Only into his junior season, the 6-foot-4 guard has already scored over 1,000 points and has also become the program’s all-time leading scorer by surpassing 1,221 points held by both Bubba Rosenquist (2017) and Matt Lupkes (2011). 

“It’s been a long time coming, ” said Bruns. ” I’ve been working really hard and our coaches have really helped me. Coach Kleis has been great and it’s been awesome.”

So far this season, Bruns is averaging an impressive 28.4 PPG and shooting 49 percent from the field for the 14-3 Panthers. He also leads Dakota Valley with 48 three-pointers made.

While he can beat teams with his shooting, he also has caused opponents problems when it comes to his rebounding. Bruns, who continues to use his height and athleticism to beat defenders on 50-50 balls, is averaging 12.3 RPG. Bruns has that “it” factor to beat opponents in many different aspects of the game.

“Rebounding has been a huge part of my game and I need to do it for my team,” mentioned Bruns. “Coach (Jason Kleis) has been telling me all year that I need to rebound and box out. That’s how I try to help the team on defense.”  

Bruns continues to be the catalyst for this program but has been fortunate to have a good supporting cast that has helped him achieve his goals. His younger brother, Isaac, is currently one of those players that have helped Dakota Valley be strong this season by averaging 15.3 PPG as a freshman. Bruns’ goal is not only to be a leader but to set a good example for the younger players and help this team stick together. The ultimate goal will be for Dakota Valley to get back to the Class A State Tournament after missing out last season.

Bruns has so far been offered by Augustana and the University of Sioux Falls. He’s also currently being looked at by a group of Summit League programs, as well as other Division I and Division II programs. He’s taken visits to South Dakota, South Dakota State, and North Dakota. He officially announced on Twitter on Sunday that North Dakota has officially offered him too.