With help from older brother, Shaun Wysocki excelling for Century basketball team
Century junior Shaun Wysocki has a natural workout partner in his older brother. Jaden is now playing college ball while Shaun is leading the Panthers in most major statistical categories.
ROCHESTER — When it came time to work on his basketball skills, Shaun Wysocki never had to worry about looking for a training partner. All it took was a glance at his older brother and the pair were out the door to play ball.
Ever since they were little, the Wysocki brothers — Shaun, a junior at Century, and Jaden, who is two years older — have been playing basketball together nearly non stop. They were teammates at Century a year ago and Shaun is now a standout for the Panthers.
But their training together is currently on hold as Jaden is a redshirt freshman for the Minot (N.D.) State University men’s basketball team.
“I would say in the last two or three years and when we were in high school together, we really started to work hard together,” Jaden Wysocki said. “Just a lot of shooting, working on finishing through contact, on spacing and understanding the game.”
Growing up, the two would always work out and play basketball together, often at the YMCA or Rochester Athletic Club. They spent a lot of time pushing each other to get better.
“Every day he was just motivating me to be better and would pick me up when I was down, and vice versa,” Shaun Wysocki said. “I just think we brought each other a ton of energy to keep pushing forward and working. And it’s definitely paying off.”
The brothers have very similar builds: long and lanky. Jaden is 6-foot-7 while Shaun is 6-6 and 185 pounds.
“We were just being competitive and I think him going against me every day, and me being older, helped him, too,” Jaden Wysocki said. “It was beneficial to both of us. It was a workout partner every day.”
Shaun Wysocki steps up his game
The brothers got to play together on the Century varsity a year ago. Jaden was a proven player for the Panthers and had a strong senior season. The younger Shaun worked his way into the lineup and joined his brother as a starter for the last 13 games of the season.
Shaun was in a learning mode on the varsity a year ago. This year he has a much more expanded role and he has excelled in all areas. He leads the Panthers in scoring (16.2 points per game), rebounding (5.6), assists (3.0), steals (2.0) and blocks (1.8).
“He’s really embraced that role,” Century coach Jacob Vetter said. “Good things happen for us when the ball goes to his hands. He does a great job of getting his teammates the ball, especially when the defense collapses on him.”
Vetter said Wysocki has a high basketball IQ and a strong understanding of the game. Wysocki took a while to find his niche with the rest of his Panther teammates early in the season but he has really hit his stride over the past month.
Wysocki is averaging more than 20 points per game over the last eight outings, which included a 33-point game against Big Nine Conference leader Mankato East.
“Definitely I think my confidence has improved as the games have gone on,” Wysocki said. “I’m just more comfortable at the varsity level.”
Wysocki said his biggest improvement has been his ability to score on the inside and get to the rim.
“I’m not even sure I had a dunk last year, but I’ve had multiple dunks this year,” he said. “So I think getting to the rim, getting to the line and finishing through contact has definitely been a big improvement.”
Wysocki is an excellent jumper and with his size and quickness, he has the ability to leap and dunk even in traffic around the rim.
“He’s a good, aggressive, smart player,” Vetter said. “He knows when to attack and when to kick out to his teammates for an open shot. He knows how to get in position to rebound.”
'I like the energy from the crowd'
On the defensive end of the court, Wysocki uses his long and athletic body to make steals and get out in transition. That is one of his favorite things to do on the court, especially if the play results in a dunk.
“I like the energy from the crowd and my team if I get a steal,” Wysocki said. “And I just look to the bench and see the entire bench standing up as they’re excited to see how I throw it down.”
His jumping ability helps Wysocki also excel in track and field for Century. He was a top-eight finisher at the Section 1AAA meet in the triple jump as a sophomore and has aspirations of being a state-meet qualifier. He's also a solid sprinter in running events.
Wysocki’s goal is to be like his brother and play college basketball. That seems to be a likely scenario as he is already being contacted by a number of Division II schools, including Minot State.
“That would definitely be awesome if we could play together again,” Jaden Wysocki said. “But I just told him to see what offers you get, see what coaches and schools you like and go from there. Just have fun with the process.”
The 16-year-old Shaun Wysocki is currently enjoying his junior season with Century. The Panthers are a solid 13-8 overall and 12-5 in the Big Nine Conference.
“Our goal is to stay undefeated the rest of the season and go into section (play) with our head held high and work hard and anything can happen,” Wysocki said.
Wysocki also enjoys fishing and says when it comes to angling, he is better than his brother. But what about on the basketball court?
“That’s a good question,” Shaun said. “I think we would both have different answers. But I think he might have a slight edge on me right now.”
“Right now it’s still me for sure,” Jaden Wysocki said. “But I will say that he’s better than me when I was his age.”