* Year in school/sport: Junior post on the boys basketball team.
* Highlights: Merchant had 34 points, including 20 in the first half, in an 88-67 win on Saturday over Upsala in the Section 5A playoffs at Little Falls. Merchant tied a state record by going 14-for-14 from the field. (He was 6 of 8 from the line). He also had 15 rebounds and one assist and scored his 1,000th career point.
* What has competing in athletics taught you? “It’s taught me, number one, how to never give up and two, always appreciated everyone around you and work as a team.”
* What’s your most memorable high school moment? “Saturday night for sure,” he said.
* What’s your pre-game routine? “Usually, we go to a buddy’s house, eat pizza and play video games. And then I’ll listen to music the whole way when we’re riding somewhere.”
* What’s your most embarrassing high school moment? “My first varsity game (freshman year), I looked like a ghost. Everyone was laughing at me, that’s how bad I was. I was pretty nervous.”
* Favorite food: Pasta alfredo.
* Favorite movie: “Glory Road.”
* Favorite TV show: “Survivor.”
* Favorite Web site/video game: Twitter. He likes playing Halo on XBox 360.
* What are your post-high-school plans? “Hopefully, I’ll be playing basketball somewhere and getting a degree.” He’s interested in a biology major.
* What’s next? Third-seeded Kimball (16-10) plays top-seeded and top-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (26-1) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Little Falls for the North Sub-Section 5A championship.
The winner advances to the 5A championship at 7 p.m. on Friday at Crosby-Ironton. The South Sub-Section 5A championship is between top-seeded Browerville (20-5) and third-seeded Nevis (14-12) and takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Wadena-Deer Creek.
— Tom Elliott