The North Bend Eagle


 

Wietfeld is NBC's first all-stater

by Nathan Arneal
Published 3/28/12

Kale Wietfeld topped off a historic basketball career with a historic honor for North Bend Central.

On Sunday, the Omaha World-Herald named the Tiger senior to the first team of its Class C-2 all-state team, making Wietfeld the first NBC boys basketball player to earn such a distinction.

Kale WietfeldTwo days earlier, he signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Briar Cliff University, an NAIA school in Sioux City, Iowa.

Wietfeld said being tossed into the fray as a freshman helped him develop as a player. That year, he was the only underclassmen in the rotation of an otherwise senior-laden team that qualified for the state tournament.

“That first year with all those seniors, they shoved me around every day in practice and made me a lot more physical,” Wietfeld said.

In the ensuing years, he went on to become NBC’s all-time leading scorer.

“Kale has a unique ability to create his own shot,” NBC coach Fred Ladehoff said. “So even with most defenses focused on him, he was able to continue to be an offensive factor night in and night out. Physically, he is very explosive so he can get to the basket or shake his defender free, and he has the ability to elevate above most players.”

Wietfeld’s next head coach, Nic Nelson, agrees.

“We just love his athleticism, his ability to score the basketball and ability to get to the rim,” Nelson said. “In our program we love guys who are versatile and can do a lot of things on the court. Personally, that’s what I love best about Kale. I think he’s very versatile player.”

2012 Omaha World-Herald
Class C-2 All-state team
Connor Beranek, Ravenna
Trevor Cyboron, Ravenna
Blake Heppner, Stanton
Lance Spongberg, Sutton
Kale Wietfeld, North Bend Central

Wietfeld, who at 6-foot-3 played point guard for NBC, chose Briar Cliff over Midland, Nebraska Wesleyan and Hastings.

“I liked how Briar Cliff is a Catholic school and its basketball team felt like a family, not just a team,” he said. “That’s what kind of got me.”

Wietfeld led North Bend in every major statistical category this year, scoring 21.2 points per game and grabbing 9.9 rebounds. Perhaps the best example of his explosive potential came against Tekamah-Herman, when he scored 18 points in one quarter on a variety of slashing drives, pull-up jumpers and deep 3-pointers.

“Coach (Ladehoff) always pushed me hard in practice,” Wietfeld said. “He was never afraid to yell at me, which is what I need a lot of times.”

Ladehoff was happy to oblige his all-stater.

“I am very proud that Kale was given this distinction,” the coach said, “and I also feel it was well deserved.”

The NBC senior also offered a bit of advice to all the youngsters hoping to become North Bend’s second all-stater.

“Keep shooting,” he said. “That’s where it all started for me. Right there in the driveway, honing skills. Keep shooting and keep working hard.”

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