SHS Players-a-Day Countdown: Wilson VanDenBerg

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(Photo by KYLE CAJERO) Sandpoint junior guard Wilson VanDenBerg drives baseline against a Timberlake defender on Dec. 21.

The SHS boys basketball Player(s)-a-Day Countdown doubles up this time around. Next up: Junior wing Wilson VanDenBerg.

It’s a cliche as old as the sport itself: Team has a fantastic starting five, but struggles as soon as the starters leave the floor. Role players have contributed to the successes of world-class teams like the 2015 and 2016 Golden State Warriors teams, or the undoings of smaller teams like the 2017-18 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, alike. Truth be told: They’re integral parts of the game of basketball.

This brings us to junior wing Wilson VanDenBerg, whose successes on the court should be noticed.

VanDenBerg hasn’t started a game this season, but his presence on the court usually entails one of three goals: Sustain the level of competitiveness on both ends of the floor. Do the little things well.

Thirdly, outperform expectations by giving quality minutes at whatever position is needed.

VanDenBerg’s positioning on the court is crucial. Whether it’s setting screens, grabbing key rebounds or making the right reads at the appropriate times, VanDenBerg’s contributions might not be the most glamorous.

Yet they do have value.

And as one of the many juniors on the roster, VanDenBerg’s impact could grow during his senior season.

Game of note: at Priest River

In Wade Engelson’s words: “I always know Wilson is going to be in the right place, especially with his rebounding. He’s been playing more important minutes as the season has progressed. He does everything we ask him to do as a player: He’s willing to step in and play any position, anywhere on the court at any time — all while giving his best effort.”

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