Column: Hillesheim reflects on 1,000-point milestone

Last year at this time, Alex Hillesheim was a junior on the New Ulm Cathedral basketball team and saw senior teammate Nate Hauser became the 13th player from New Ulm Cathedral to score 1,000 career points.

“I saw him achieve that goal and it only motivated me even more,” Hillesheim said Saturday after he scored 28 points Friday in a 94-87 win over Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

“I know how great of a feeling it was for him to do that. I knew that I was close to getting that (1,000 career points) so it motivated me to put in the extra work.”

That included summer basketball and extra work in the weight room.

Hillesheim said that while progressing through the Cathedral basketball system, there was not one former Cathedral basketball player that he wanted to pattern himself after.

“I just looked at the Cathedral team as a whole and it gave me so much joy to be able think that one day I could be a part of that.”

Hillesheim came into the MVL game with 998 career points but had to wait when the game scheduled for Thursday was postponed by weather for 24 hours. He said that the extra wait did not bother him.

“But my parents (Jon and Shannon) and teammates were pretty anxious,” he said. “I was more focused on the game because I knew it was such a big game, and I knew that it (1,000) was going to come sometime. I just wanted to make sure that we won the game.”

Hillesheim worked a lot this past summer, skipping summer baseball for basketball. He said he was offered the chance to play AAU basketball but did not take the offer.

“I played summer basketball in some leagues with my team.” he said. “And that really helped. This past summer was the first time that I did not play summer baseball so I had a lot of extra time to get into the gym and the weight room and all of that extra practice and repetition really helped improve my game and take it to the next level.”

Hillesheim said that dedicating yourself to the weight room is a huge factor for his success.

“I wanted to get bigger and stronger faster.”

Hillesheim is the 14th Greyhound with 1,000 career points and now has 1,026 career points.

STEEL HAVE RARE SUNDAY GAME: The New Ulm Steel have a rare Sunday afternoon game today when they take on the North Iowa Bulls today at 3 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center.

This is a big game for the Steel, who are in a dogfight for the final playoff spot in the West Division with Alexandria, who they played Saturday night.