Walter commits to play basketball for BLC

File photo by Travis Rosenau Sleepy Eye St. Marys’ Will Walter goes for a layup during a Tomahawk Conference boys basketball game at Cathedral High School on Dec. 4.

SLEEPY EYE — The Bethany Lutheran College Vikings have found their next sharpshooting addition to the men’s basketball team in the form of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s guard Will Walter.

Walter, a 6-5 senior for the Knights, made his verbal commitment public last week.

“They first reached out to me about taking a visit there, I think it was back in October,” Walter said. “And I had kind of had interest in there before that — it was a place close to home and I know the assistant coach Brandon Polesky really well because he was my coach for AAU. So I had a connection there.

“I’ve heard good things about it before that, so when they reached out, I was really happy because it was a place on my radar. And I took the visit there and I really like the campus, I got to meet the head coach [Pat Garvin] more. I knew him a little bit before that, but just getting to know him more, I really like both the coaches, so that was a big thing for me.”

Walter is averaging a team-high 29.9 points per game this season while averaging 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

He’s also shooting 53% from the floor and 44% from the 3-point line.

Walter will join the team in the winter of 2024 and look to help the Vikings continue their winning ways. The Vikings haven’t finished a season under .500 since 2015-16 when they went 10-15 and they’ve won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title in 2018, 2020 and 2023.

“They’ve obviously got a great coaching staff, so that has a lot to do with [the success],” Walter said. “They’ve got passionate coaches that care about the players, and like I said before, that was a main reason I wanted to go there. I really like the coaching staff.”

This season, the Vikings are 8-3 overall and 2-0 in UMAC play. They’re averaging 82.1 ppg while allowing 75.1 ppg.

Walter will join another player from Sleepy Eye on the team also in Sleepy Eye Public grad Kegan Heiderscheidt, who is averaging 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in his second season with the Vikings after transferring from Southwest Minnesota State University last year.

“I know him pretty well,” Walter said. “I went over there to there school once this summer at Sleepy Eye Public and scrimmaged with their guys and he was always there as a supervisor, but he played. So I usually matched up with him, so it was good to get to play versus a guy that plays there now and will be my teammate. And even before that I knew him just from when he was in high school. When he was a senior, I think I was a freshman.”

Walter said he knows a few other player on the team and played against BOLD graduate Drew Sagedahl, who is currently in his junior year of college.

Walter said he looks forward to playing for the Vikings, who like to push the pace and light up the scoreboard.

“They put up a lot of points,” Walter said. “They play a fast-paced offense, kind of similar to what we play for our school [at St. Mary’s], so it should be a good transition there because it’s pretty similar.”

Walter said he was told he could see floor time as a freshman depending upon his development and where the team is at, and he’s looking forward to taking the next step.

Until that time comes, however, Walter will focus on finishing his senior year at St. Mary’s with another strong playoff run as the Knights look to get back to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2022.


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