VOLGA, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Valley senior Max Nielson earned one of the five boys nominees for the Sanford Pentagon/Keloland Media Group Player of the Year after capping off a great career leading the Cossacks to another state tournament.
Max Nielson was a five-year varsity starter for Sioux Valley, and saved his best season for last, scoring nearly 17 points per game.
“Just doing whatever Coach needs me to do. Whether that’s pass, setup the offense, go get a bucket. Really, just being able to run the offense and have a complete understanding of the game,” Nielson said.
With a state tournament Nielson would have likely become the Cossacks’ all-time leader in assists, but leaves the program as just one of two players ever to score 1,000 points and dish out 500 assists.
“He’s got a very high skill-set and he’s kind of magical with the ball, and can do so many things with it that really makes the offense flow,” Sioux Valley Head Coach Bill Vincent said.
Nielson’s attention on defense was key to the Cossacks’ program-best 21-1 record.
“Our team had a lot of buy-in on the defensive end of the floor this year, and that was led by Max. He was able to give up individual accomplishments for the betterment of the team,” Vincent said.
Max’s stellar senior season also earned him an offer from Northern State, where he committed to in early April.
“It’s not always about the points, the assists, steals and all that stuff. All of it played a role in that. And winning, once again, that’s the hugest thing. You know, people want to recruit guys that can win, and I feel like I can help with that,” Nielson said.
We’ll continue to unveil our nominees for the boys and girls Player of the Year throughout the week. And on Friday at 6:30 on KELO-TV, we’ll name our winners and will also feature a special message from Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.