FARGO — Fargo Davies forward Owen Hektner erupted for 30 points during the semifinals of the East Region boys basketball tournament last March at the Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
Hektner sank eight 3-pointers in the big spot to help the Eagles secure a spot in the North Dakota Class A state tournament. The Davies senior-to-be has decided to stay close to home with those talents for his college career.
He’s verbally committed to play men’s basketball at Minnesota State Moorhead, which plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
“It’s very competitive,” Hektner said of the NSIC. “Those teams have a lot of success on the national level, too. The games I’ve been to have had a really good atmosphere. I think it’s a good league.”
The 6-foot-7 Hektner averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds for Davies last season as the Eagles posted a 23-2 record and advanced to the Class A state semifinals before that tournament was halted and eventually canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hektner shot 48% from the floor and 47% (47 of 100) from 3-point range during his junior season.
“I think he’s got a huge upside,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “He’s got a great frame. He’s got a high basketball IQ. All of those are all (assets) when you’re going into the college game. Owen has got a very bright future in front of him.”
Hektner said he first started to get interest from the Dragons last summer when he took part in their elite camp before his junior season. He’s felt comfortable with MSUM since.
“Ever since they first reached out to me I kind of liked it there,” Hektner said. “I liked the situation with basketball there. … I thought it was the best school that reached out to me, like the best fit for me. That was kind of it.”
Hektner said for the Dragons he’s projected to play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward with his frame. He currently weighs 200 pounds.
“I think I definitely need to get bigger and stronger to be able to compete with the physicality at the next level,” Hektner said. “I also need to work on my ball handling if I play more of a guard position. … Those are just a few specifics.”
Manson said Hektner has the versatility to excel at the next level.
“He can do it all. He can play inside, he can play outside,” Manson said. “In the college game, it will be a big factor for Owen and the system that they run at (MSUM) just fits him perfectly. We’re all super excited for what he’ll be able to accomplish there.”
Hektner said he received interest from primarily Division II teams before he decided to commit to the Dragons. The chance to play close to home also factored into his choice.
Hektner said he’s been able to play in six traveling tournaments since late June in Sioux Falls, S.D., during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been good to get out and play,” Hektner said.
Now, he knows where he’s going to be playing in college.
“He’s just a great all-around kid, academics and athletics,” Manson said. “He does all the right things. He carries himself very well.”