Wins fuel Notre Dame Academy hoops standout

By | January 16, 2013

“Last year, we had a losing season and it was tough,” he said. “I’m just trying to help the team get ready so we can get wins. That is what’s more fun for me, winning games and hopefully going far in the playoffs. Notre Dame has never made it to the (WIAA) sectional finals. That’s always been my goal, along with the other seniors, to make it to the sectional finals and see where we can go from there.”

Notre Dame improved to 9-3 with a 59-51 victory over Green Bay Preble on Jan. 11 in Fox River Classic Conference play. Bobinski, who led the team with 18 points, has been a varsity starter and the Tritons’ top scorer since his sophomore year. This season, he paces the squad at 16 points per game.

“Ben is a good open jump shooter. He can create separation and he elevates really well,” said Notre Dame head coach Tom VanDeurzen. “He’s a long 6’3” and he’s crafty around the basket. He can finish with either hand.

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Notre Dame Academy (Green Bay) senior Ben Bobinski works on his free throw shooting during practice. Bobinski is closing in on becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer and topping the 1,000-point mark in his prep career. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

“He adds a lot of intangibles, not only scoring. He can run the floor well. He sees the floor and sees passing angles. He’s the whole package.”

“I like scoring different ways. I like being rounded,” said Bobinski. “I like to get other people open too, to kick it out for their shot.

“I take the game as it comes to me,” he added. “I don’t rush it. If I can get a shot, I take the shot. It’s more of a read and react type of thing. If we need points down the stretch, I will be aggressive and try to create for other guys or take it myself.”

Bobinski credits his older brothers, Chris, Josh and Brian, and his father, Rich, for making him the basketball player he is today.

“Along with going to a ton of camps, they’ve always been there helping me along the way,” he said. “My dad has always taught me to stay humble and helped me with the emotional features of basketball. My brothers helped me get my game better, so it’s a good balance for me.”

In addition to his production on the floor, VanDeurzen, who is in his first year at Notre Dame, praises Bobinski for the example he sets for the younger players.

“Ben is your typical gym rat. He’s a kid who appreciates where he came from and where he is right now,” said VanDeurzen. “That’s what makes him a good leader. He’s not just looking out for himself. He’s looking out for everybody on the team.”

Bobinski and fellow seniors Patrick Thompson and Cameron Snyder serve as team captains. The threesome first played together at Holy Family School.

“We talk about (Holy Family) games,” said Bobinski. “We were pretty good. I think we only had two losses in three years. We know each other really well. We know what each other is thinking and we know what the team needs to improve. We are all compatible. We know when it’s time for something to be said. We have the type of relationship where we can take care of that.”

Bobinski is a three-sport athlete. He played wide receiver and defensive back in football and is a member of the golf team, coached by his brother, Brian. Highlights have included winning a state team golf championship as a sophomore and enjoying a deep football playoff run as a junior. Playing three sports has taught him discipline.

“I’m used to a busy schedule,” he said. “It’s not easy, but I’m not overwhelmed by it. Summer is tougher because all the coaches want you to do something. For football, we had weightlifting and speed training. I would then have open gyms for basketball in the afternoon. Golf has always been my relaxing sport. I have fun with all three.”

Bobinski hopes to play basketball in college and pursue a career in the medical field. He’s thankful for the foundation set at Notre Dame.

“I like Catholic education,” he said. “It’s a nice combination of religion with my academics. Last semester, I took prayer and spirituality, which helped with getting in tune with my faith and awakening my religious perspective.”

Looking ahead, Notre Dame has some tough games on the schedule, including a pair against top-10 ranked Pulaski. Bobinski looks forward to the challenge.

“It’s fun playing good teams,” he said. “You want to play good competition. Our goal is to be able to compete at the top tier of the conference.”

Max McHugh, a current member of the coaching staff, established the school’s scoring mark in 2008 with 971 career points. For Bobinski, taking his place among Notre Dame’s top all-time players will likely have more meaning down the road, he said.

“I don’t think of it as a big deal,” he said. “I’m just trying to enjoy my senior season. Right now, I think I will remember the experiences with my teammates more than anything. Scoring 1,000 points is cool in a sense that not everybody does that, but it’s a little goal within the big picture. I will probably appreciate everything more 10 or 15 years from now.

“We just have to keep working hard and keep getting better,” he added. “We are not there yet. We still have things to improve. We got away with some things in a few games. We let teams get back into the game. We have to get better and we can get better.”

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