By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Saturday at Target Center, Cretin-Derham Hall played Bettendorf from Iowa. They lost, but Sam Neumann made a statement to anyone in attendance: He can shoot.

The junior had a 39 point day.

“It’s almost like I can’t miss,” he said.

His shooting prowess is the result of him being a classic gym rat. When Neumann sees an empty basketball floor, he finds a place of peace, refuge.

“Thing is: He’s put the time in,” said Cretin-Derham Hall basketball coach Jerry Kline. “He loves the game…just glad he is on our side.”

Neumann also has support off court. His father played at Minnesota-Duluth, and his brother at Wofford. In other words: Neumann grew up in a gym.

“I played a lot of basketball after college, and I would bring them with me,” said Chris Newmann, Sam’s father. “They’d hang around the gym and shoot on the side…they just naturally developed a liking for the game.”

Newmann stands 6-feet, 6-inches tall, and that helps with his perimeter game.

“He can handle the ball as well, so you can say he’s a forward but we use him as a guard,” Kline said.

He can make shots in games, because he practices when he’s all alone on his playground.

“I love getting in the gym,” Newmann said.

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