Former East Ridge boys’ basketball standout Freddie Gillespie is averaging 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for Baylor University, the top-ranked men’s team in NCAA Division I.
While the 6’9” senior forward has developed into one of the nation’s top players, the journey to Baylor has been anything but smooth. As a freshman at East Ridge, he missed the entire season with an ankle injury, played on the junior varsity as a sophomore, and tore his ACL late in his junior year.
After leading East Ridge to a 21-7 record as a senior (2014-15), he played for Division III Carleton College under legendary coach Guy Kalland, playing only 16 minutes, totaling four points his freshman year (2015-16).
A sophomore season in which he averaged 10 points, 8.3 rounds and 2.6 blocks prompted him to walk on at Baylor where, after sitting out the 2017-18 season, he went from playing four minutes over nine games to starting nine games last year.
“It wasn’t easy for him,” Kalland said of his former player before his team took on archrival St. Olaf last Saturday. “I’m glad that everything is working out for him.”
Former prep spotlight: Wilson sets three-point mark
Augsburg University sharpshooter Aiza Wilson set a new MIAC record for career three-pointers in an 88-66 victory over Hamline last week.
The shooting guard, who starred at DeLaSalle, hit three shots from long range while scoring 12 points. She now has a total of 214 career three-pointers.
Wilson also dished out five assists in the win.
Former prep spotlight: Speese reaches 1,000-point mark
Camryn Speese, who also played at DeLaSalle during her prep career, scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds while becoming the eighth player in the history of Augsburg women’s basketball to reach the 1,000-point career scoring mark.
The senior forward also had a couple of steals in the contest.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.