Michael Casper breaks MHS record, earns WVC Player of the Year
Merrill High School senior and guard for the boys basketball team, Michael Casper has been flooded with accolades over the past two weeks. During the Bluejays Senior Night on Monday, Feb. 24, Casper broke a school record by scoring 45 points in a game, while also reaching the 1,000 point mark in his career, being only the 8th player in Merrill history to reach that milestone. One week later on Monday, March 2, it was announced that Casper was selected to 1st team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC) and also earned WVC Player of the Year.
In an interview with the Foto News on Wednesday afternoon Casper explained that earning WVC Player of the Year is the award he is most proud of.
“It feels great to get all this recognition, it just shows that all of the hard work I put in paid off” said Casper. “Winning Conference Player of the Year is for sure what I’m most proud of. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little kid just shooting around in my driveway. I’ve always wanted to be that top notch player in the conference that leads the team to success.”
When asked about his record breaking 45 point performance, Casper explained that he was just trying to take good shots.
“I had no idea what the school record was during the game,” said Casper. “The defenders were sagging off of me and giving me pretty good looks and I was just able to knock them down.”
Despite all of the awards and recognition he has seen in the past week, Casper is focused on the upcoming WIAA Division 2 playoffs.
“Now it’s time to make a deep run in the playoffs,” Casper added. “All of the other stuff is behind us now and we have to focus up and get ready to make a playoff push. One of our big goals this season was to win conference, which didn’t happen, but we have to let that be in the past and get ready for what’s ahead of us.”
When asked about his personal basketball goals Casper’s answer was short and sweet.
“I just want to continue to improve my game and be successful in college.” ended Casper.
By scoring his 1,000th career point, Casper joins a list of only seven other Merrill basketball player to reach that milestone, including two of his former teammates, Quinn Steckbauer and Zach Mootz. The full list consists of: Paul Jesperson- 1,696 pts; Quinn Steckbauer- 1,259 pts; Jordan Stine- 1,124 pts; Zach Mootz- 1,085 pts; Jim Langenkamp- 1,074 pts; Rory Osness- 1,068 pts; David Jesperson- 1,051 pts and Michael Casper- 1,015 pts.
Following his high school graduation in the spring, Casper will attend Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota, where he will continue his basketball career.