Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sports

Boys hoops: Huskies’ Banks, Old Abes’ Boser picking up lots of DI interest

  • ED-Basketball-17a-021018-2

    River Falls' Zac Johnson defends against Memorial's Caden Boser during the basketball game at Memorial High School on February 9, 2018. View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com

    Staff photo by Elena Dawson
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  • SN-BBBall-5a-021418-1

    Eau Claire North's Dalton Banks tries to take the ball down court during the boys basketball game at Eau Claire North on February 13, 2018. View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com

    Staff Photo by Spencer Nickel
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  • ED-Basketball-6a-021018-3

    Eau Claire Memorial’s Caden Boser looks for a pass during the basketball game against River Falls at Memorial High School on February 9, 2018. View more photos at LeaderTelegramPhotos.com

    Staff photo by Elena Dawson
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  • sk-North-RL-10a-010618

    Dalton Banks of Eau Claire North drives on Rice Lake's Evan Tillung in Big Rivers Conference boys basketball play Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 at North.

    Staff Photo by Steve Kinderman
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The question hasn’t been if Eau Claire juniors-to-be Dalton Banks and Caden Boser have been on a basketball court at any given time this summer. That’s an easy one. 

The question has been where.

North’s Banks and Memorial’s Boser have spent the past couple of months balling all over the country with their AAU teams. That’s not all they’ve had in common. They’ve both garnered a lot of Division I interest while playing in front of college coaches nearly every weekend. 

“Playing against all the best players and in front all of the best coaches in the country has been a great experience,” Boser said.

While they’ve stacked themselves up against the top guys in high school basketball playing for Adidas D1 Minnesota (Banks) and the Wisconsin Swing (Boser), they are quickly elevating themselves to two of the better city prospects in recent memory.

Banks picked up an offer from UW-Green Bay and South Dakota this summer, while Boser has one from UW-Milwaukee. Many more could be on the way — they were in California over the weekend visiting UC-Riverside while playing in a camp at Cal State Fullerton.

They both probably knew the offers were going to come as some point given the successes of their first two high school seasons. Banks averaged 19.4 points per game with 125 total rebounds, 79 assists and 45 steals for a North squad that won its second straight Big Rivers Conference title this winter. Boser averaged 14.9 points and pulled down 145 total rebounds for the Old Abes.

Nevertheless, it’s still been kind of a surreal summer for the two. 

“You always dream about it as a kid and you think about what it’s going to be like,” Banks said. “But just building relationships with coaches and trying to find the best fit for you are the biggest things.”

The two have been smart and patient with their recruiting process and haven’t jumped at the first couple offers. 

Boser said he’s done a lot of research and thinking as to which type of city, area, school, coach and program are the best fit for him, and Banks echoed similar sentiments. 

Neither seem to be in a rush to make a decision. They are more immediately focused on becoming better players right now.

Banks is electrifying at the high school level and has “one of the quickest and most explosive first steps” in the BRC, according to Menomonie coach Matt Olson. He can get to the hole seemingly when he wants. Playing against bigger, more physical guys all summer has given him a chance to work on his game away from the block, which Banks said has improved.

“I think for me, probably the biggest facet (I’m working on) is my shot-making ability,” he said. “Catch and shoot and off the dribble. I think that will help translate to the high school game.”

His D1 Minnesota team has also found a great deal of success this summer, winning the Adidas Gauntlet tournament in New York City while also boasting a No. 1 nationwide ranking for a while. 

Boser is a 6-foot-7 forward who can step out and shoot. He hit 39 3s last winter. 

He’s worked on hitting the weight room and getting a bit more physical himself to help his all-around game.

“My biggest thing is my ballhandling and defense and I think playing against these kids who are top-level recruits, it makes a big difference,” Boser said. “You feel more comfortable coming back.”

While they play separately both in high school and on the AAU circuit, they’ve formed a bond together. Banks and Boser began hooping with one another in sixth grade and have remained friends since. 

“It’s just fun from there and out,” Banks said. “I think we’ve really pushed each other to be the best players we can be, and I think that’s the best part of this relationship.”

The duo has also been known to play 1-on-1 against each other at the Y. 

It will be some of the best free entertainment around for hoops fans. 


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