Just two hours and 35 minutes southeast of Vermillion in the town of Carroll, Iowa, waits a future Coyote basketball player.
Carroll High School senior Casey Kasperbauer was recruited by the University of South Dakota men’s basketball program for the 2012-2013 season. But what coaches may not have known when he was signed in November was that USD isn’t the only school paying attention to this high school record-breaker.
The 6-1 guard who signed with the Coyotes in November was recently honored as ESPN High School’s Midwest Boys’ Basketball Player of the Week .
Kasperbauer, who will graduate in May, said he really got his start in basketball during the summer between his fifth and sixth-grade years in middle school.
“I went to a basketball camp and the person running the camp told me that summer that I have some serious potential to be a really good basketball player,” Kasperbauer said. “That’s kind of what motivated me and I think that’s the summer I really started working out and trying to take my game to the next level.”
Kasperbauer’s work as a middle and high schooler has paid off as he leads Iowa Class 3A in scoring, with an average of 25.3 points per game.
Carroll High School Boy’s Basketball head coach Craig Doulma said Kasperbauer is the hardest worker he has seen in his career as a coach, spanning 15 years.
“His work ethic is second to none,” Doulma said. “I’ve never been around a kid that has worked as hard as Casey has.”
Kasperbauer’s dad and Assistant Boy’s Basketball Coach Terry Kasperbauer, said he never had to push Kasperbauer to work and improve.
“He never had to be told,” Terry said. “He’s very self-motivated and would work out without being pushed to do it.”
Terry said Kasperbauer said he was gong to play Division I sports since he was 5-years-old, but it wasn’t until his freshman year that his dream started to take shape.
Initially, schools like South Dakota State University had put an offer out before USD even became interested, but a kneecap injury during his sophomore year put him out of prospective schools’ interest.
“A lot of teams and schools thought that was the end of my basketball career because after that injury, a lot of schools lost interest,” Kasperbauer said. “It’s kind of a blessing in disguise.”
Even though Kasperbauer said he hadn’t really considered USD, let alone South Dakota as a post-secondary option, but said it’s a good fit for him.
Doulma said Kasperbauer’s past, current and future career is marked by his dedication.
“He’s getting a chance to play for USD because of the stuff he did when no one was watching and it’s such a lesson for younger kids.”