Howard’s Aslesen commits to DWU men's basketball team: Versatile forward picks Tigers

Howard's Sam Aslesen (22) shoots over White River's Joe Sayler last season at the Corn Palace.

Nick Koepsell said Dakota Wesleyan University is getting the total package.

Howard boys basketball player Sam Aslesen recently committed to play for the DWU men’s basketball team. The 6-foot-7 forward did a little bit of everything for Howard last season, averaging 16 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

“He does everything,” said Koepsell, who is the Howard boys basketball coach. “He measures out at 6-7 and he can take you inside. He can take you outside. He can pretty much do it all. He’s a great defensive player. He’s a really great rebounder and offensively, like I said, he’s the total package.”

Aslesen picked DWU over Concordia University, which is also a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. He liked the fit both academically and athletically at DWU, saying it had everything he wanted. Aslesen plans on majoring in biology or biochemistry.

“I thought I would fit in really well and it’s close to home and just the family atmosphere really drew me there,” Aslesen said.


On the court, Aslesen feels he’ll also fit in with the DWU Tigers.

“I fit in with all the teams I’ve ever played with,” Aslesen said. “I fit in pretty well and part of my game isn’t just scoring. I can distribute the ball and that helps you fit in well with guys.”

He brings a versatile skill set to the Tigers. He also nailed 24 3-pointers, shot 73 percent from the free-throw line and took a school-record 26 charges last season.

“He’s just very steady and he kind of does everything really well,” DWU coach Matt Wilber said. “He shoots it really well. He is a good finisher. He is a really good passer. He can play inside on the block and he can play outside and can handle the ball.”

Wilber echoed Koepsell’s sentiments about Aslesen, adding he’s also just scratching the surface.

“I think he’s set to have a really good year in high school and I still think his best basketball is going to be in front of him,” Wilber said. “I think physically he’s going to continue to get bigger and stronger. I just think he’s got a really good upside."

He played mostly guard growing up, but switched positions as his frame and game evolved.

“Lately I’ve been switching to forward, posting up more with bigs since I really started hitting some growth spurts and gaining a lot of weight these last couple of years,” Aslesen said.


Aslesen has grown two inches and put on between 30-to-40 pounds within the last year. He currently checks in at 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds.

Aslesen transferred from Elk Point-Jefferson to Howard prior to his junior season. Koepsell said he became a leader almost instantly during summer ball and it translated to the prep season.

“You could just see as the season went on the confidence was just oozing out of him as the season was coming to an end,” Koepsell said. “He had a great summer this summer with Sacred Hoops in the AAU season.”

Aslesen is also a member of Howard’s football and track and field teams. He plays tight end and safety, while he high jumps and is a distance runner in track.

He now feels a huge weight off his shoulders and looks forward to his senior season on the hardwood.

“It’s going to be kind of nice just to not really have to worry about colleges and focus on this season and winning games,” he said. “It should be a really fun season.”

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