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When Joe Wieskamp won Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior it became clear he would go down as one of the state's best high school basketball players of all time.

He put the finishing touches on that legacy over the weekend.

The Iowa Print Sports Writers Association selected the Muscatine senior as Iowa's Mr. Basketball for 2018.

Wieskamp is the first boys basketball player from the Mississippi Athletic Conference to earn the award since its inception in 1981.

"Based off this year, statistically he had it," Muscatine coach Gary Belger said. "He did this without a tremendous amount of shots per game and against two or three defenders."

Belger made it known from the day he arrived in Muscatine almost two years ago that Wieskamp was the best player in the state. He noted Wieskamp's poise and his ability to finish around the rim as two reasons for that, but also his ability to adapt to whatever defense the opposing team threw at him.

"If you look at the games, his first quarter was probably his lowest scoring quarter of the season," Belger said. "As the game would on he would score more because he would read what was open and exploit it."

Mr. Basketball is voted on by sports writers and coaches across the state and is awarded to the top senior. Wieskamp is one of two top 100 recruits in the class of 2018 along with Cedar Falls guard and Northern Iowa signee AJ Green.

Wieskamp, an Iowa signee, averaged 33.7 points and 13.5 rebounds per game and did it efficiently. The Muskie senior shot 55.6 percent from the field, 35.1 percent from 3-point range and 84.3 percent from the free throw line, which Belger said was a big reason the Muskies were able to win a lot of close games.

He led the Muskies to a 16-9 record and their first state tournament berth in 16 years, accounted for over half of the team's scoring and had 20 double-doubles in 24 games.

"Obviously for me, it was all about the team and my biggest goal was to get our team to the state tournament," Wieskamp said, "but I set out some individual goals and getting Mr. Basketball was at the top. It is the most prestigious award you can probably get in the state of Iowa.

"It is an honor to get it because there are a lot of great players before me who have won that award. It is pretty cool to be on that list."

That list includes former winners such as Fred Hoiberg, Raef Lafrentz, Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Harrison Barnes, Marcus Paige and future Iowa teammate Jordan Bohannon.

Wieskamp finished his career as the Iowa Class 4A all-time leading scorer with 2,376 points, sixth on the all-time list, and his 803 points as a senior are the most in a single season ever in Class 4A. He also ranks fifth all-time in Class 4A with 908 rebounds and scored in double-figures in 88 of his 91 career games.

"It shows the things I'm doing are the right things," Wieskamp said. "I'm on the right pathway to set myself up for success in the future. A couple guys on that list played in the NBA, and that's my biggest dream, to play in the NBA someday.

"If I can follow suit and have a good college career, maybe the NBA is there for me one day."

Wieskamp was one of two area players honored, as Wapello point guard Trenton Massner was named first-team all-state. Coach Ken Speilbauer said Massner is the best player he's ever coached at Wapello, and his senior guard didn't do anything to dispel that notion this season.

He averaged 22.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists while leading the Indians to a 23-2 record and their first state tournament appearance since 1994.

The senior stepped up when Wapello needed him most, too, as Massner scored a game-high 25 points in a 55-46 win over Northeast to clinch a berth in the Class 2A state tournament.


Sports Reporter

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