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Boys' basketball player of the year (3A-A): Nate Engesser, CSCS
Four years ago, Nate Engesser was just like most other freshman basketball players — uncertain of his role on the team while also trying to adjust to high school.
Fast forward to the present, and he will leave Colorado Springs Christian School as one of the top-10 scorers in Colorado preps history.
The 6-foot-3 Engesser put an exclamation point on his career at CSCS by scoring a career-high and school-record 43 points in a 73-71 win over Manual in the 3A fifth-place game. The performance left Engesser with 1,906 career points, good for ninth on Colorado’s al-time list.
Engesser averaged 23.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.9 steals in leading the 26-1 Lions.
Above all, his final season was a blast.
“It was really fun,” Engesser said. “We grew closer as a team, and the best part was just spending time together. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we only lost one game and got closer as a team.”
The reality that he’d played his final game for CSCS set in quickly, Engesser said.
“After the last game, I knew it was all over for me,” he said. “Knowing I won’t ever put on a CSCS jersey again kind of gets to me. I loved the school and love the athletics we have.”
Engesser’s progression from an uncertain freshman to all-star leader bordered on monumental.
“If you look back at that jump, it was huge, but it was a lot of fun,” he said. “As the years progressed, I tried to find my role and show leadership. I tried to do the best I could to be a mentor and leader for the younger guys. We all just loved working hard and being good examples for younger guys.”
As far as his father and coach, Mark, is concerned, it went by all too fast.
“It seems just like yesterday he was a freshman not knowing if he was going to play jayvee or varsity,” Mark Engesser said. “I was the assistant coach at the time, and the head coach put him on varsity. He just took it from there.
“Four years ago, I would have never guessed (he’d do all this).”
This fall, Engesser will head north to the University of Denver, where he’ll once again be an uncertain freshman.
“It’s going to be fun to just work harder and get better,” Nate said. “I’ll just keep working hard, and I’m excited.”