Toughness. Grit. Resilience. These are all words that could be used to descibe the four-year career of Broderick Schmidt at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. It hasn’t been the easiest road for Schmidt, who is the only remaining member out of a seven-man frehsman class in 2009-10, who has battled through knee injuries the last two seasons. Schmidt has gutted it out despite a torn meniscus and a possible tear to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and is set to take the floor for the last time at Lysaker Gymnasium this weekend against St. Cloud State University and University of Minnesota Duluth.
When asked what will be going through his mind the last time he steps out onto the gym floor in front of the UMC fans, his family and the Golden Eagle staff Saturday against UMD, Schmidt said,
“I just want to hold nothing back. These are the last two games of my basketball career, nobody wants to be done with the game. I am not going to try to continue my basketball career so I’m going to have to give it all I’ve got. The first time we saw UMD, we lost by four at their place. We are very capable of getting a win against them and then everyone wants to beat St. Cloud State. I don’t know if this program has ever beaten St. Cloud State and they are coming into our house. It would be nice to get a win there. If you were to talk to the other three seniors, they feel the same way. They’re going to give it everything got. We have to.”
Schmidt first arrived at UMC four years ago from the small town of Marion, S.D., which has a population of 784 and is located in Southeast South Dakota. Though he had limited knowledge of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Head Coach Jeff Oseth quickly won over Schmidt and his family.
“Honestly I never really knew about the UMC program before the coaches recruited me and then I came on an official visit,” Schmidt said. “I really liked the small campus atmosphere and the coaches. They put on a great visit for me and my family. I know my mom was really happy with the program I was going into. It has been great for me.”
When Schmidt first arrived in 2009-10, he had a difficult adjustment moving from small town South Dakota basketball to the grind and hard-nosed nature of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Basketball, playing against very talented and strong posts that make up the 15 other teams in the NSIC. Schmidt averaged 1.4 points per game in under 10 minutes of action per contest in his first season in the Maroon and Gold.
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“I think that first year was a big key,” Schmidt said. “Coming from a small town in South Dakota, High School B Basketball wasn’t very competitive. I really didn’t have anyone to compete with honestly with my height. The biggest challenge for me was coming into UMC and going against that talent and athleticism, it was a struggle at first.”
As his career went on and Schmidt grew up and learned what it took to play post in the NSIC, the production from the 6-10 forward also improved. As a sophomore, he improved his average to 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. By his junior campaign, “Bo” as he is known to his teammates, earned a starting role and tallied 4.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. And this season, his final for the Golden Eagles, Schmidt has continued to start when healthy and is averaging 2.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game despite suffering through a torn meniscus early on in the season and more recently through a possible tear to his ACL. Schmidt had surgery earlier this season and continues to battle through the pain.
“Basketball is a very physical game,” Schmidt said. “I have had a lot of injuries here. Last year I tore up my knee a little bit, my meniscus, and was able to play through it. It just worsened it this year. I ended up having surgery and they took out my lateral meniscus. I was back within a week-and-a-half. And then I tore something else when I came back, they think I tore my ACL. I didn’t want to sit out the rest of the season, I wanted to finish the rest of my career.”
Though Schmidt is the only four-year senior, he has been joined along the way from fellow South Dakotan and Mars Hill College transfer Almir Krdzalic, Louisiana Tech University transfer Justin Rake and Western Illinois University transplant Abdou Niang. All four will be honored on senior day against UMD.
“They are all great guys,” Schmidt said. “Al (Krdzalic) and I are both the same major, health science, so we spend a lot of time doing homework together. Abdou (Niang) is another great guy and one of my better friends. And then of course you have Justin Rake, who came in last year, and is another great kid.
Their is no doubt it has been a difficult ride for Schmidt but it has all paid off as he will get his degree in the spring and will pursue a graduate program following his graduation.
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“I have had a lot of good memories with the guys, the program itself, being able to get my degree here,” Schmidt said. “I’ve gotten into grad school to continue my chiropractic career. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without this program.”
From small town South Dakota kid to one of the grittiest and hard-working players the UMC program has seen. Schmidt has left a mark on the UMC program showing his true character as he has battled through the pain to help out his team. If that doesn’t show the true character of a man I don’t know what does?