Well-known for his blue-collar work ethic, Jonah Eisenschenk already has punched in for his next endeavor: college basketball.
The Rocori High School senior spent Wednesday afternoon at his next basketball stop, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, informally playing hoops with future teammates.
“I’ve got to prepare for that next chapter,” Eisenschenk said Thursday.
Tonight at Halenbeck Hall, he takes a short reprieve with one last weekend officially as a high school basketball player.
Eisenschenk is one of 40 seniors participating in the annual Minnesota High School Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Series.
Competition begins at 7 tonight with the first of two games. Preceding the tip-off of each game are slam-dunk and three-point shooting contests.
Eisenschenk’s squad of 10 players will play about 8:45 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.
The teams play again at 2:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday at Macalester College in St. Paul.
Eisenschenk, a 6-foot-5 forward, said he already knows a bunch of the all-stars and looks forward to the opportunity for the games, which generally are dunk-a-thons and displays of long-distance shooting touch (think NBA-distance three-pointers).
“It’s one last opportunity to lace them up and play against guys or with guys that I’ve been playing with or against for a long time,” Eisenschenk said, noting that he has been an AAU teammate of several of the players. “It’ll be a lot of fun.”
There are 10 players participating who have Division I college commitments and seven who are committed to Division II college programs, including Eisenschenk.
“It’s a great accomplishment to be selected (for the all-star series),” Eisenschenk said.
Included on the teams is Zimmerman’s Jake Wilson, a 6-6 forward who is headed to Minnesota-Duluth.
Maranatha Christian Academy’s Garrison Gilliard also is headed to UMD.
They were playing Wednesday in Duluth with Eisenschenk.
Eisenschenk is looking forward to college. He said he took a couple days off after Rocori’s season ended in the Section 5-3A playoffs, then resumed working out.
He lives three miles from McNeely Spectrum at St. John’s University and often can be found there working out or shooting hoops.
“It’s a great opportunity to be that close to college facilities,” he said.
Of course, seeing Eisenschenk working out at St. John’s has been a common occurrence the past half-dozen years or so.
It’s where he developed a long-range shot that made him the greatest scorer in Rocori’s history, surpassing Jason Kron this season.
Eisenschenk has no specific goals for tonight, which will be his last high school game close to home.
“I’ll just go with the flow and enjoy the weekend and see how it goes,” Eisenschenk said.
At least two area athletes were invited but declined to participate because of vacations: Melrose’s Scottie Stone and Sartell’s Patrick Fischer.
Stone is headed to St. Cloud State. Fischer will attend Bemidji State.
“It’d be fun to have Scottie and Pat there,” Eisenschenk said. “I played with them last summer with the Comets (AAU team). I played with Aaron Lien (of Moorhead), too.
“A lot of these guys, we’ve been in contact the past four or five years one way or another.”
Here is a list of basketball players playing tonight at St. Cloud State who are known to have committed to Division I colleges:
* Joe Aase, a 6-foot-8 center from Austin (Davidson)
* Anders Broman, 6-2 guard from Lakeview Christian (South Dakota State)
* Riley Dearring, 6-5 forward from Minnetonka (Wisconsin)
* Logan Doyle, 6-8 center from Alexandria (South Dakota State)
* Quinton Hooker, 6-0 guard from Park Center (North Dakota)
* Zach Lindquist, 6-4 guard from Mahtomedi (Air Force)
* Reggie Lynch, 6-9 center from Edina (Illinois State)
* Ben Oberfeld, 6-9 center from Eastview (Bucknell)
* Carson Shanks, 7-0 center from Prior Lake (Utah State)
* Bridgeport Tusler, 6-0 guard from Osseo (South Dakota State for football)
Here is a list of known Division II commitments: *
Tom Aase, a 6-5 forward and Joe’s twin brother from Austin (Sioux Falls)
* Jonah Eisenschenk, 6-5 forward from Rocori (Minnesota-Duluth)
* Garrison Gillard, 6-3 guard from Maranatha Christian (Minnesota-Duluth)
* Nate Huot, 6-1 guard from Dawson-Boyd (Southwest Minnesota State)
* Kebu Johnson, 6-4 guard from Blake (Sioux Falls)
* Aaron Lien, 6-5 forward from Moorhead (Minnesota State-Moorhead)
* Mike Millard, 6-3 forward from Fergus Falls (Minnesota State-Moorhead)
* Jake Wilson, 6-6 forward from Zimmerman (Minnesota-Duluth)
Other known commitments:
* Isaiah Hanson, 6-4 forward from Maranatha Christian (Colorado Christian)
* Peter Kruize, 6-8 center from St. Peter (Gustavus)
* Austin Rambow, 6-5 forward from Willmar (Valley City State)