Mitchell's Alm picks University of Sioux Falls: Kernel post player commits to Cougars

Mitchell's Zane Alm shoots over the reach of Brookings' Nick Schefers (32) while Theo Burns (11) looks on during a game at the Corn Palace last season. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Zane Alm moved closer to achieving his biggest goal this past weekend.

The Mitchell High School boys basketball standout recently committed to the University of Sioux Falls. Alm can’t sign his national letter of intent until November and it will be a full year before he plays for the Cougars.

But as long as he can remember, he’s wanted to play college basketball. This weekend’s pledge to USF brings him one step closer to that goal.

“It feels great being able to know that I made it,” Alm said. “Because this was my biggest goal was to go to college to play basketball, and now that I did, it just feels unreal.”

Alm picked the NCAA Division II Cougars over conference member Minnesota State State University Moorhead and Dakota Wesleyan University. He visited the USF campus a couple of times and that helped cement his decision.


“I just loved it and the coaching staff, they were all amazing over there,” Alm said. “Then the players, I got to meet some of them and they are all pretty cool. That was a big part of it.”

And the Cougars are adding a big piece to their roster. Alm stands 6-foot-10 and weighs 190 pounds. Last season, he averaged 9.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.2 blocks as he developed into a college prospect.

“He had a goal and he went to work and I am really happy for him that he’s achieved what he wanted to get done,” Mitchell coach Todd Neuendorf said. “He’s really worked for it. He went to work last year and a half and really made himself into a good basketball player.”

Neuendorf expects Alm to make another jump this season and said his best basketball is still in front of him. Neuendorf said Alm’s best attributes are running the floor, defending the basket and working on the low block. He’s also improved his perimeter shot and his face-up game this past summer playing for the Pentagon Schoolers.

“That’s the way college is going now,” Neuendorf said. “They want bigs that can face up and stretch the floor and shoot the basketball. We are going to let him face up but he’s going to spend a majority of his time down there making hay on the block.”

Alm, who is undecided on his major, said USF does envision him stretching the floor with his perimeter shot. The coaching staff also told him he’s just scratching the surface.

“All the coaches are saying I still have a lot of basketball in front of me,” Alm said. “I believe it. Over these last two years probably, I can tell how much better I have actually gotten and I feel like I can get a lot better.”

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