It had been a year since Mike Daum had returned to his hometown of Kimball.
Last Friday at Wolf Auto in Kimball it was the red carpet treatment for the local kid who’s turned in to one of the best players in all of college basketball.
Wolf Auto hosted a big welcome home barbecue that allowed family, friends, former coaches and teammates, and of course the kids, the opportunity to come out and say hi to the local star.
Daum, who just completed his red shirt sophomore season at South Dakota State, was glad he could get back to his roots.
One of the best players in the country, huh? That’s exactly right.
This past season Daum was the second leading scorer in all of major college basketball at 25 points per game. He broke the South Dakota State single season scoring record with 895 points. That number was the 38th best scoring season in the last 32 years of NCAA basketball. He also averaged 8 rebounds per game.
Playing 32 minutes per game Daum shot over 50 percent from the floor, 87 percent from the free throw line, and was lethal from downtown, hitting 42 percent of his three point shots. He was one of the most efficient players in the country.
He had two 40 plus point efforts this past season including a 51 point performance against Fort Wayne on February 18th.
Both seasons that Daum has been on the floor for SDSU have ended with the Jackrabbits heading to the NCAA Tournament. One year after falling to Maryland 79-74 in round one, this season it was a round one defeat at the hands of no. 1 seed Gonzaga, a team that eventually played for the national championship.
This past season the accolades really piled up for the big 6’9 power forward; he earned the Summit League player of the year honor and was also named an A.P. honorable mention All-American.
Daum has been the Summit League Conference Tournament MVP each of the last two years.
Obviously more to accomplish at South Dakota State, like a third straight trip to the NCAA’s, but it’s obvious at this point what the long term goal is…the NBA.
Daum credits his head coach at SDSU, T.J. Otzelberger, for making sure he’s getting the type of publicity he deserves and even setting him up with a big time summer workout circuit.
At this point Daum isn’t shying away from the NBA talk but he does have great perspective on what it’s going to take to make that dream a reality.
A big thanks to Wolf Auto for having KNEB down for the event last week.
The Panhandle will continue to have their eyes on Mike Daum as he continues his career at South Dakota State and beyond.