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Wilson finds comfort at SDSU

Sports

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Douglas Wilson leads the SDSU men’s basketball team in scoring and rebound in his first season in Brookings, and it’s that comfort level within the program that’s allowed Wilson to make a strong first impression.

Douglas Wilson had some Division 1 interest coming out of high school, but instead opted to attend Kirkwood Community College, with one goal on his mind.

“Coming into Junior College, one thing I wanted to be better at was academics because I wasn’t the greatest in high school, so I wanted to make that change. That was like one of the biggest goals I had coming in,” SDSU Junior Forward Douglas Wilson said.

Kirkwood would prove to be the perfect fit.

“He really worked hard in his two years down there. You know he made a lot of gains, and a lot strides in his game. But that was something, the day-to-day process to be how good of a player you could be, that’s something that he really bought into down there,” Former Kirkwood Head Coach Bryan Petersen said.

Wilson earned National Junior College Player of the Year honors in his final season with Kirkwood, and helped lead them to a national title. He signed with SDSU in the fall of 2018. Even though T.J. Otzelberger left for UNLV, Wilson found comfort in then-assistant Eric Henderson being promoted to Head Coach.

“Kind of recommited to us, and said yeah, no changes, I didn’t commit there because of one guy, I committed there because of the whole deal, and he wanted to be a part of it, and we’re sure glad he did,” SDSU Head Coach Eric Henderson said.

Also helping smooth the transition to Brookings was Wilson’s former Head Coach at Kirkwood, Bryan Petersen, joining the Jackrabbits as an assistant coach.

“The first thing he did was call me for a workout, and it felt good to see a familiar face, and just build our relationship even more,” Wilson said.

“Pete knows what kind of makes Doug tick, and obviously they’ve won a national championship together, so they’ve had a lot of success together,” Henderson said.

It’s the combination of those parts that’s made Brookings feel like a second home.

“I wasn’t here for four years. So the time that I am here, I’m just trying to make the most of it. I love every one of these guys. It feels like I’ve known them forever. I’m just happy to be a part of it,” Wilson said.

Wilson and the Jacks return to action on Wednesday when they visit North Dakota. Tip-off is set for 7:00.

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