via Star Tribune
Conrad Engstrom New Life Academy, SR., basketball
Senior captain Conrad Engstrom has scored an average of 26 points in his first three games, and New Life Academy boys’ basketball is off to a 4-0 start. The forward known by teammates as the “player-coach,” discussed his team-first philosophy.
What was your mentality coming into the season? It’s senior season, so I knew I needed to step up big with a lot of seniors graduating. The hard work in the summer has paid off. Coach [Doug] Linton has put me in good positions to succeed.
What kind of prep did you do this summer? I played in summer leagues and did individual workouts with Coach Linton and the guys.
What’s is the key to your success? It’s just whatever the defense gives me, really. I’m versatile on both ends of the floor so I’m able to go inside and score in the paint and also step out and shoot the three. I’m shooting a lot of free throws, and those are easy points.
What are your goals for the season individually? We were conference champs last year so we are looking to repeat there. We’re taking the right steps forward. It’s just making sure that we get contributions from everyone and not just me.
What’s your leadership style? One of my teammates tells me that I’m the player-coach on the court, just telling everyone what to do, like a coach. I must talk a lot and tell people what to do. I can be demanding, but I don’t like to think of myself as in guys’ faces. I’m more of a laid-back guy off the court.
How’s the season outlook? We got a good group of guys. It’s more than just me individually. It’s everyone as a team. We’re starting to play more together as a team, which is really cool to see. I think we can do some special things. Keep an eye on us.