Prep Basketball

West Delaware's Derek Krogmann commits to be preferred walk-on at UNI

West Delaware’s Derek Krogmann in action during the 2017 Class 3A state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
West Delaware’s Derek Krogmann in action during the 2017 Class 3A state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Derek Krogmann could have waded through some Division II offers. He could have waited, pun intended, let things play out and see if a Division I school would offer a scholarship.

But the West Delaware senior didn’t want to do that. When his dream school said it wanted him, even as a walk-on, that was enough to end his college basketball recruiting process.

Krogmann announced Wednesday he will play college hoops at Northern Iowa as a preferred walk-on. The 6-foot-7 all-stater averaged a double-double of 20.7 points and 12.4 rebounds per game last season.

“It’s something I’ve thought about for awhile,” Krogmann said. “Just the fact that it’s always what I’ve wanted to be and being given an opportunity to take that, I couldn’t pass it down ... They’ve got a great coaching staff that has had a lot of success. To have that success with mostly Iowa guys is really cool. I’m excited to be a part of the program.”

Krogmann is left-handed, which is always a plus, but is considered to have strictly an inside game at this point. Thus, his scholarship offers have come from D-II schools, though D-I programs like Furman and Lehigh had shown recent interest, according to West Delaware Coach Matt Uthoff.

UNI obviously sees potential. Uthoff said it had been in constant contact with Krogmann since June, Krogmann visited campus recently and was offered the chance to walk on, with the promise of a scholarship eventually if he produces.

That was too much for him to pass up.

“I just need to continue to stretch out my game,” he said. “Score away from the basket, create my own shot. When you’re going against grown men, you’ve got to get bigger and stronger as well.”

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“Do you remember David Gruber? He’s my age, played at UNI,” Uthoff said, referring to the early-2000s Panther from Solon. “Derek actually reminds me of him. He does the dirty work, plays with an extremely high motor. He’s probably a tweener right now, still probably a little undersized to play inside. But he’s working really, really hard to expand his range. He is the type of kid UNI has had success with over the last several years. I think he’s going to be a great fit for them, once he gets in there and continues to expand that range, get bigger and stronger.”

Krogmann just had surgery to repair a UCL tear in his right thumb incurred during football practice. He’s a defensive end for the Hawks and said he will miss six to eight weeks.

He’ll be fully healed, minus any other football injuries, and ready to go for basketball season in November. Northern Iowa recently got commitments from Oskaloosa's Cole HenryDubuque Senior’s Noah Carter and Garner GHV's James Betz out of this year’s prep senior class, plus North Scott 2020 prospect Tytan Anderson.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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