Athlete of the week: Brandon Giese, Zimmerman, basketball: Shooting star
by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Brandon Giese has collected just about every record at Zimmerman and a long list of personal thrills over three years, and now, entering playoffs his senior year, is hoping the best is yet to come.
The Thunder are 19-8 and seeded first in their sub-section.They were 9-7 in the Mississippi 8 facing 3A and 4A teams. Now they get to play all 2A’s.
“We’re feeling really good about our chances,” said Giese. “We’ll have some tough teams, but our conference is tougher than our section and it gets us ready for playoffs.”
The speedy six-footer is the Thunder record-holder for points in a career (1,318), season (506) and game (37);three-pointers in a career (157), season (66) and game (7); free throw percentage in a season (.786); and steals in a season (81) and career (194).
Highlights so far are his 37-point game two years ago against Cambridge-Isanti when he shot 7-for-10 outside the arc, his 1,000th-point this year on a 3-pointer against Becker, his trifecta at the buzzer Dec. 29 that beat a good Detroit Lakes team 49-46 – and his first two dunks, last Friday in a win at Princeton.
“That felt amazing,” said Giese. “It was a really big momentum changer. I’m not very tall so it was cool to do it. The first one wasn’t with much authority, but the second one I threw down, which was sweet.”
Giese is averaging 19.2 points, 3.1 steals, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists this year. He averaged 14.4 and 15.1 points his first two years.
An articulate, poised youth, Giese’s attitude is as good as his stats, says his coach, Ben Kvidt: “Brandon is awesome to work with. He is a leader he gets guys doing what we need them to do, and there has never been any kind of issue with him. Great captain and teammate.”
Always been a scorer, this year stepped up the rest of his game, said Kvidt: “He really improved on defense, averaging three steals a game, he’s passing much better. He’s doing everything well.”
Giese gets his points mainly on 3-pointers (a .336 percentage in his career and .357 this year) or layups off drives or steals. He’s become deadly at finishing layups, even against a lot of big guys waiting at the hoop in the M-8 going up strong or with finesse as the situation calls for it.
Giese became the first ZHS boy to score in the state track meet last spring, placing eighth in long jump with 20-8 1/2. He was also in triple jump and relays. As a sophomore, Giese was a baseball outfielder hitting about .230. He played soccer four years and was the scoring leader as a senior with four goals and six assists for a 6-11-2 team.
The Giese scorecard
Personal file — Age: 18 … Family: parents Mark and Stephanie; sister Allie, 16; brothers Dylan, 13, and Carter, 10 … Sports: basketball, soccer, track, formerly baseball … Other activities: DECA, Link, National Honor Society … Academics: 3.5 GPA … College plans: probably Concordia (Moorhead) or UW-Stout, business & marketing, basketball
Favorite stuff – Class: Advanced Public Speaking … TV show: “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” … Movie: “Taken” … Good: chicken alfredo … Drink: Yoohoo chocolate milk … Team: Twins …. Athlete: Derek Rose …. Reading: Sports Illustrated … Kickback: golfing, going to the beach … Place he’d like to visit: Australia