Former Western Wisconsin basketball standouts now part of Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry

By: Jenn Chapman Email
By: Jenn Chapman Email

While the Gophers got the best of the Badgers Wednesday night at the Barn, it was an opportunity for our SportScene crew to check in on some former Western Wisconsin high school standouts who are now part of the Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry. Jenn Chapman has more.

Jenn Chapman: "The Big 10 is a battle every, single game regardless of record or ranking. Eau Claire North alum Evan Anderson and former La Crosse Aquinas star Bronson Koenig have learned what it's like first hand playing for the Badgers."

Badgers junior Evan Anderson says, "You're going to get every team's best shot and if you're not ready to play individually, as a team, or whatever it may be, it probably isn't going to work out well for you. So, you got to bring it every night and just be willing to compete."

Badgers freshman Bronson Koenig adds: "Every night we're playing on a big stage against the best players in the country so you really got to prepare your mind mentally, be ready physically and everything. It's great competition. Every night you're going to get a good team. Whether it's home or away, it's a great experience to come to another team's arena and play in this kind of atmosphere."

Jenn Chapman: Rice Lake's Wally Ellenson is Minnesota's only two sport athlete. He experiences the Big 10 atmosphere year round on the basketball court and in track and field.

Gophers sophomore Wally Ellenson says, "It's amazing. It's the best conference in Division 1 basketball. I mean the fans here are crazy. It was packed up to the corners, even where you can't see, the awkward corners. And you know in this conference it can go back and forth. You know, Wisconsin just beat Iowa, and Iowa beat us, and then we beat Wisconsin so it just depends on the game and on the day. And if you can battle back, you're in every game

Jenn Chapman: The Badgers and Gophers will meet again February 13th, reporting from Minneapolis, Jenn Chapman for SportScene13."

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