Nersten captures scoring record, looks forward to the next goal [UPDATED]Published 6:04am Monday, March 25, 2013 Updated 8:07am Monday, March 25, 2013
It’s a quiet determination that brings Hillcrest Lutheran Academy basketball player Daniel Nersten success on the court.
“For someone who is such a big scorer, he isn’t someone who is searching for the spotlight,” said Comet head basketball coach Gregg Preston.
And scorer he is. In only his junior year, Daniel captured the school’s all-time scoring record, surpassing former Comet Scott Colbeck’s record of 1206 points after dropping 20 in the first game of this year’s Section 6A tournament against New York Mills.
Colbeck, who’s record had stood since 1987, is a friend of the Nersten family and said he has always been impressed with Daniel’s attitude and ability.
“I see in Daniel someone who is a competitor and someone who loves the game of basketball,” Colbeck said. “I know he is a fine young man who comes from a great family. He is very deserving and it will be very interesting to see him play as a senior.”
Determined to improve and not just to break records, Daniel’s aggressive attitude towards getting better showed in his team’s performance in the second half of this season.
The Comets went from the middle of the Little Eight Conference standings to challenging favorites Ashby and Battle Lake for the top spot at the end of the season, finishing the year with a 14-9 record after a slow start.
With big wins over both the Arrows and Battlers, Preston said he attributed much of the improvement to Daniel’s attitude in practice that affected the rest of the team.
It’s that attitude that makes Nersten a unique player. Having played football and baseball in the past, Nersten will now extend his work with basketball to all three seasons and dedicate his time to getting better on the court.
“I’ll be playing a lot of basketball this summer,” said Daniel.
Besides the regular routine of lifting weights and running drills, Daniel will travel to Wisconsin for a basketball camp before next season. His past summers have also included AAU ball and backcourt with Fergus Falls boys basketball coach Dave Rund.
“It’s a privilege to play,” said Daniel. “I have the privilege to come out here and play for Hillcrest and it’s the thing I love to do most.”
Daniel’s passion is also one shared within his family. Originally from New York, the Nerstens moved to Fergus Falls when Daniel was eight months old. In the first two years that he started for the Comets, Daniel played with his older brother Zach. His twin sister Kelly also starts for the Comet girls team.
For Daniel’s father Craig, who works at Hillcrest, his son’s year round effort shows exactly what type of person he will become.
“I see a hard worker, he puts a lot of effort into it.” said Craig. “I think he takes it pretty seriously and gets his job done, working diligently to improve the areas of his game he is weak with.”
As a father, the drive that basketball continues to bring Daniel in and out of the game is all a parent could ask for.
“I just see him maturing into a Godly young man who is a lot more focused even than he was a year ago,” said Craig. “Even in a lot of different areas of his life. I think he’s just maturing and growing a lot.”