When the Dawson-Boyd boys' basketball season was halted by eventual Class A state champion Southwest Minnesota Christian at the R/A Facility in Marshall on March 14, senior guard Nathaniel Huot was caught between his past and his future.
On the one hand, Huot was standing on the same floor that he will call home for the next few years when he joins the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs for both football and basketball beginning this fall. On the other hand, Huot, who was named the Independent all-area boys' basketball player of the year in 2012, had just played his last basketball game as a representative of the Blackjacks - or so he thought.
Soon after the season, Huot was informed by Dawson-Boyd head coach Cory Larson that he, along with the other 39 top seniors in Minnesota, had been selected to take part in the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) All-Star Basketball Series, allowing him one final opportunity to represent his high school on the hardwood.
Independent file photo
Dawson-Boyd’s Nathaniel Huot, right, puts up a 3-point shot during the first half of the Section 3A championship game against Southwest Minnesota Christian March 14 at SMSU.
Being played at St. Cloud State University on Friday and at Macalester College in St. Paul on Saturday, the All-Star series features four teams comprised of the top seniors in the state. Competing against Huot this weekend will be 2013 Mr. Basketball Quinton Hooker of Park Center, all-time Minnesota scoring leader Anders Broman of Lakeview Christian Academy in Duluth and a handful of Division I commits. There will also be some familiar faces amongst the competition for Huot.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. There are three guys on the other teams that I played AAU with," he said. "It'll be fun to actually play against them a little bit."
Huot played with both Austin Rambow of Willmar and Jake Wilson of Zimmerman the summer following his sophomore season, while Wilson and Jonah Eisenschenck of Rocori (in Cold Spring) were teammates of his in the summer of 2012.
Huot is the only player from either the Camden Conference or Section 3A to be selected for the series of games, while just seven of the 40 players attended a high school in either Class AA or A. According to Huot, however, there is no pressure in representing smaller programs throughout the state, seeing as he's done it for some time now.
"Mainly I'm just trying to prove that we have good basketball down here, too," Huot said. "It's kind of always been that way through AAU, I've almost always played against kids from bigger schools, so I've kind of always been the underdog."
Apart from the two games played each day, there will also be slam dunk and 3-point shooting contests before each game. Huot, who will be coached by Pat Hayes of Waconia over the weekend, is hoping to be able to try his hand at one, if not both, of the bonus competitions.
"It would be nice to get in some of those other events and give them a try," Huot said.
If he gets into the 3-point contest, Huot would stand a good chance to win. Of his 499 points during his senior season, 303 came from 3-point range.