Western Nebraska Community College’s Dru Kuxhausen is going to live out a dream of playing basketball at the Division I level after signing with McNeese State Univesity on Monday night at Cougar Palace.
Kuxhausen, a standout player for the Cougars and Scottsbluff High School, said he picked McNeese State because it gives him a chance to play away from home for a change.
“It is pretty cool and something I always wanted to do,” Kuxhausen said. “I am excited that I get to do it and Western Nebraska is a big part of that in getting me that opportunity.”
Kuxhausen said he picked the Cowboys because they really wanted him.
“I chose McNeese State because I think it will be good for me to get away from home a little bit,” he said. “I chose them because they recruited me the most and it seemed like they wanted me the most of any other school. I also like the coaches.”
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WNCC head coach Cory Fehringer said spending time at WNCC helped Kuxhausen grow as a player.
“I don’t think the level matters for a lot of guys. It matters about their competitive spirit. I think it matters about their commitment of getting better. Ultimately what role do you serve in the team to make them great,” Fehringer said. “For Dru, he has a weapon that is hard to come across. But what he brings is his shooting and his competitive spirit.”
His specialty was shooting from beyond the 3-point arc and the charity stripe. Kuxhausen made 50.9 percent of his long range shots (119 treys) and shot 89.1 percent from the free throw line (115 of 129). Fehringer said his shooting is amazing.
“He has mastered it and he spent time in the gym in order to perfect it and now he gets to take those tools he has on to the Division I level,” he said. “We are proud of him for the work he has put in academically and the work he has put in physically and mentally. He has gotten what he deserves and earned. Nobody gave it to him.”
Last season for the Cougars, Kuxhausen scored double-digits 27 times, clipped the 20-point mark 13 times, and scored 30 or more twice with a high of 33 points in a win over Northeastern Junior College as he helped lead the team to a 24-8 record and an appearance in the Region IX Tournament semifinals.
Kuxhausen was that same kind of shooting weapon at Scottsbluff where he scored 2,110 career points ranking him 17th all-time among boys in the state. He averaged 11.5 points as a freshman, 14.2 his sophomore year, 21.9 as a junior, and 28.5 his senior campaign. He earned first team all-state honors regardless of classification his senior season and was named the Star-Herald’s All-Region Player of the Year.
McNeese State head coach Heath Schroyer is excited to be getting a scorer of Kuxhausen’s talent.
“Dru is a young man who fills an immediate need in our program. His ability to shoot the three, stretch defenses and score the ball, are talents this team needed moving forward,” Schroyer said.