By Ray Hamill — From a recent state championship team to a recent national championship team, Drew Vizenor has signed his letter of commitment to play basketball at the collegiate level.
The 2022 St. Bernard’s graduate, who played a key role in the Crusaders NorCal state championship as a senior, will play for Nebraska Wesleyan, the 2018 NCAA Division-III national champs.
But Vizenor, who was just 17 when he graduated from St. Bernard’s, took an alternative route to the college courts after spending this past year as a post-graduate student at the Kiski School in Pennsylvania.
The plan seems to have worked.
In his own words, Vizenor played “lots of basketball” during his year at Kiski, a school that emphasizes sports, and he played against some tough opponents.
“The competition we played was incredibly difficult,” he said. “Every team we played had multiple Division-I recruits, but that’s why I choose to go there.”
Vizenor believes his game and frame both benefited from the experience.
“I got stronger,” he said. “I gained some weight, got faster, got more athletic and worked on all aspects of my game. I improved my all-around game.”
Wellman not only led the Prairie Wolves to a national championship in 2018, but also has won four conference championships and has made four trips to the national tournament in just nine seasons in charge.
And Vizenor is looking forward to working with Wellman, who invited the former H-DNL standout for a visit after he had reached out to the team.
“I liked the school a lot,” Vizenor said. “It’s in a nice area, and they have a great coach. He’s a very successful coach. They have a winning history.”
The 2022 SB graduate will play shooting guard for his new team and is hoping to help the Prairie Wolves to another conference championship after they finished third in the American Rivers Conference this past season.
“My goal is to start as a freshman and I want to win a conference championship,” he said.
Winning is nothing new for Vizenor, who played a key role on the historic St. Bernard’s team of 2022, which became the first-ever local boys basketball team to win North Coast Section and NorCal state championships in the same season.
Vizenor and many of his teammates would follow that a few months later with NCS and NorCal state championships in baseball as well.
“I loved it,” he said of his time at St. Bernard’s. “ I had a great time. We had a lot of great athletes and being able to play with them was great.”