Reporting Shane Kitzman
St. Thomas senior Will DeBerg has a specific memory he recounts with detail and ecstatic ease — one he wants to repeat.
NCAA D-III men’s basketball title game … March 19, 2011 … Salem, Va. … Tommies win it going away.
“I scored the last basket for us,” DeBerg said, reminiscing upon the peak of his sophomore year. “I got to throw the ball up in the air … it was pretty cool.”
Thousands of college athletes believe they can win a national championship, but unlike them, this senior captain knows exactly what it takes to win one.
And he believes capping his collegiate career with another trophy hoisting is a strong possibility.
“We have seven or eight guys who were part of that national championship team,” DeBerg said about his No. 2-ranked Tommies (19-1, 14-1 MIAC), who are blowing out MIAC opponents left and right. “We have experience. Winning it (already) makes us all the more hungry to win it again.”
The Edina product who scored 1,000 points for the Hornets overcame some impatience when he wasn’t playing much his freshman year in purple, and has expanded his role on the team year after year – the guard now leads the Tommies in points per game with 12.5.
His UST squad could be the deepest in the D-III landscape
(St. Thomas boasts balanced scoring, and no one averages playing more than 23 minutes per game)
We have seven, eight, nine guys on any given night who could lead us in scoring. We have opponents playing 35-36 minutes a game, and we wear them down with our press.
Offseason workouts with old Hornets lead to in-season success
When I’m at home, my old coach will let me into the (Edina) gym. And I’ll also play with Ben and Jim, who both play at Gustavus. We hit jump shots, lift, or run on the football field.
He’s starting in on the business networking
I’m starting to apply at a lot of entry-level financial analyst jobs at the Targets and General Mills.
Leadership and organizational skills are already mastered via the “Will DeBerg’s Summer Skills Basketball Camp”
Started it a few years back. We had three sessions, and 10 kids per session.
But just this past summer, I had three guys working for me, and had about 85 kids total. It’s a five-week thing (June/July) for fifth and sixth graders, seventh and eighth graders, and freshmen.
The business major and French minor sports a 3.5 GPA
I went to a French elementary school (Normandale in Edina) and didn’t take a course in English until third grade. The peak of my French-speaking career was in fifth grade – spent three weeks in France with a family in a little town by the Alps.
Even the Gophers are in awe of DeBerg’s new gym at UST
Driving to home games at Concordia-St. Paul (while the new facilities were being constructed) during my freshman year wasn’t fun. But now, when the Gophers have come to play open gym with us, they go into our locker room and say it’s nicer than theirs.
Best on-court moment so far this year?
Beating Stevens Point. They beat us pretty bad last year.
Best off-the-court moment?
Our trip out to Washington. Won against two good teams and got to tour Gonzaga. That was a lot of fun.
TV show: “Prison Break,” “Homeland,” and “Entourage”
Movie: “Remember The Titans”
Book: “To Kill A Mockingbird”