Scott Christopherson - Making the Sacrifice

It takes a lot of hard work to succeed on the basketball court, and in some cases that extends beyond practicing. In some cases it requires a great deal of dedication and personal sacrifice. Scott Christopherson knows this all too well. Scott signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Marquette University last week, but it took a lot of sacrifice to get to that point.

It takes a lot of hard work to succeed on the basketball court, and in some cases that extends beyond practicing. In some cases it requires a great deal of dedication and personal sacrifice. Scott Christopherson knows this all too well. Scott signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Marquette University last week, but it took a lot of personal sacrifice to get to that point. Scott put in more hours on the basketball court and in the weight room than he can count, and also made a great deal of personal sacrifices too.

Growing up in a small town in West Central Wisconsin, Scott went to Melrose-Mindoro high school and played AAU ball with the Fox Valley Skillz who played in tournaments around the country. The long weekends on the road with the Skillz during the Spring usually ended with Scott arriving back home well after midnight on Sunday night, only a few hours before having to get up for school. Scott made that sacrifice because he knew it was what it would take to get a major college scholarship.

After his sophomore year in high school, Scott felt it was time for another sacrifice and transferred to LaCrosse Aquinas High School. It was a tough decision, but Scott felt it was for the best, "I felt like I needed to go to a place where I would be challenged on a day to day basis. Not only as far as the competitiveness, but also the intensity of the practices. Not that I wasn't challenged at Melrose, but I knew most of the guys in LaCrosse and I knew the coach and knew that they would demand more of me. I knew playing against those players in practice everyday would help me to become more consistent on a daily basis because they would force me to work harder."

It was a difficult decision, but Scott made the move. The change did cause a bit of controversy, but he felt he had to do it. The transition was difficult in different ways, so Scott decided it was time for another change too. With his scholarship commitment with Marquette in hand, Scott decided to leave the Fox Valley Skillz and play AAU ball with his local LaCrosse YMCA team. "The travel had a lot to do with it, but when I transferred schools there was a lot of controversy and I wanted to relax and go back to having fun playing basketball. I had a lot of fun with the Skillz, but in all of those games there is a different type of pressure and stress on everyone with all of the college coaches watching all the time – I just wanted to stay home and have fun playing with the guys from my high school team."

When Scott decided to commit to Marquette early in the process, the number one reason why he decided to play for the Golden Eagles was because of Coach Tom Crean and how he runs his practices and drives his players to be the best that they can be. "Growing up I was coached by two former NBA players and they were always pushing me, and when I would get one thing down it was always on to the next thing, and the next thing and the next thing. Those two guys and my dad are very much responsible for helping me to become the player that I have become. When I met Coach Crean and saw how they do things and how they operate it immediately reminded me of how I was brought up, on and off the court."

Going to the Big East will be quite a change, but Scott feels he will be able to make the adjustment and contribute to the team as a freshman. "I feel I have the ability to make plays. I can shoot the ball pretty well from the outside, but I can also get to the basket pretty well. I also think I have the ability to play well with other players, I don't have to dominate the ball, I know how to play off of my teammates strengths as well, to play as a team, and that is why I think I can make an impact next year."

Marquette Coach Tom Crean likes to recruit players that are capable of playing more than one position, and Scott fits right into that plan. "I can see myself playing a little bit of both the point guard and shooting guard spots. I like to play the point because I like to lead and direct the team, but I also like playing off the ball. It really doesn't matter to me. My dad has always taught me not to play to a certain position but to be more of a basketball player. Obviously when you get to that level you will have to play different positions, so whatever I can do to help the team – that is what I will do."

Known as a tireless worker, Scott knows he has a lot of work to do to get his game to the next level. "I need to work on my off the ball defense and ball handling, but the biggest thing will be adjusting to the size. Being from a small town in Wisconsin I rarely go against guys that are 6'10 and in the Big East the guys that are that tall can also run the floor. I have played against those types of players on the AAU level, but at the next level the speed of the game and the higher intensity level –I need to get used to that as well as getting mentally in shape and physically in shape."

As excited as Scott is to get to Marquette and start playing in the Big East, he has some unfinished business on the high school level. Scott has set some personal and team goals for himself, and will work harder than ever in his quest to obtain those goals. "I want to be able to play quicker and just try to get better every day. I want to work as hard as I can so that next year when I come into Marquette I can offer something to the team that they don't already have. The State championship is obviously my #1 goal. As far as personal accomplishments go, I would like a shot at Mr. Basketball, but Keaton (Nankivil) is the odds on favorite to win it. He should be the favorite because he's a really good player and they have won a couple of championships, but I would like to think that if I work hard and improve I could have a shot at it. If I don't get it, I will know that working for it made me become a better basketball player."

Marquette fans located in Milwaukee will get a chance to see Scott play when LaCrosse Aquinas will come to Milwaukee to play Neenah on December 27 in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout at the Al McGuire Center. For more details please see the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Website by clicking here – WBY SHOOTOUT


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