If you didn't know any better, you would think Sam Dekker
is a University of Wisconsin
football season ticket holder.
"We're no strangers there, which is good," Dekker said. "We're getting acclimated there very quickly."
Dekker has been a fixture on the Madison campus this fall, having attended every football game except for Nebraska, and took his official visit last weekend in order to see the Badgers beat Indiana and his future men's basketball team go through their first practice of the 2011-12 season.
"It was a ton of fun, just to be there for the whole weekend and have the experience of being there for a bunch of things and feeling like you are part of the team with the players and the coaches," Dekker said Monday night. "There was a lot of emphasis on the no-ball practice, a lot of conditioning and footwork and physical stuff. It was definitely full of energy, which is what I expected out of practice. Nothing easy and guys getting banged up, which was fun to watch. I know they were expecting a lot of big things."
With his visit being an official one, Dekker also spent time eating dinner with the players and spending time with head coach Bo Ryan at the Ryan household.
"It's something you don't get to do every day and I am lucky to have that opportunity," Dekker said. "Overall, it was a really fun weekend watching the first practice and seeing the energy the guys had on the first day. It really ramped up my excitement even more to get there."
Also on his official visit was Germantown senior forward Zak Showalter, who chose to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity for Wisconsin in mid-August rather than one of his eight scholarship offers. Showalter and Dekker have a little bit of history (Dekker's AAU program went 2-0 against Showalter's), which made it a valuable weekend for the two of them.
"I really didn't know him, but I got to know him a little more last year and start talking more this year before the Badgers (elite) camp," said Dekker, who also spent time talking to Showalter's teammate, 2013 forward Luke Fischer. "We've gotten a lot closer and next year we're going to be really close. He's probably going to be my roommate. We have a great relationship already."
While Dekker is building a relationship with one future teammate, he's already best friends with Bronson Koenig, the 2013 point guard from La Crosse Aquinas who committed to Wisconsin last month. Dekker had committed over 15 months before Koenig, and was thrilled when his former AAU teammate told him that he wanted to continue playing hoops with him on the college level.
"I was very excited because we've seen how we can play with each other on the court and how we compliment each other's game," Dekker said. "We've also found how close we are off the court. We've been pretty much best friends, talk a couple times a week and want to see each other do well. We'll have three years together when he gets here and hopefully be even more successful on the national stage and play good basketball."
After averaging 28.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 steals his junior year for Sheboygan Area Lutheran, Dekker and his teammates have their sights set on November 14 and the first practice of the basketball season.
"Guys are getting in the gym and we're looking good," Dekker said. "We'll be fine, we'll be young but I think we'll be really good. We have a good chance to make a run for state, which is where we want to be and have a chance to win there. Hopefully I can lead my team to that."
Projected to be the only scholarship player in the 2012 recruiting class, Sheboygan Area Lutheran forward Sam Dekker took his official visit to Madison over the weekend to watch the Badgers basketball team's first practice of the season and watch yet another high-scoring football game.
Four-star shooting forward checks in on UW's basketball practice and football game