A late bloomer

A late entry into basketball hasn’t slowed down Buderus’s game

In the modern age of sports, most athletes become successful by beginning to compete at a young age.

Junior Devin Buderus, however, is an exception to the rule,

Buderus didn’t start playing basketball until sixth grade when some friends urged him to go out for the team in middle school.

“My friends told me I should try it. One day I tried it and I really liked the game,” Buderus said.

With only two years of experience with the current boys basketball team, Buderus has worked his way into the starting lineup.

According to Head Coach Scott Gullion, he plays a key role on the team.

“Devin’s overall work ethic and his passion for the game really rubs off on the other guys,” Gullion said. “He’s always been a really good teammate.”

One individual who has had the biggest influence in his basketball career is his uncle.

“My uncle is my biggest influence because he played in high school at Platte Valley High School in Colorado,” Buderus said. “I always played against him when I was little and he showed me some things at his house in Colorado.”

Not long after that would he take it from the driveway to the actual court.

Buderus transferred to Scottsbluff in sixth grade where he began his basketball career.

He then later transferred back to Denver prior to his eighth grade year.

“My dad wanted me to go live with him, and I wanted to see how the bigger city was and it was pretty fun,” Buderus said.

Shortly after, Buderus chose to transfer back to Scottsbluff to be with his grandma.

“I came to live with my grandma because she was having surgery so I came to help her out,” Buderus said.

The transition was anything but easy coming from Denver East High School, which has an enrollment of 2,475 students.

“It was a pretty weird transition coming from a big school. Then I came to a small school where there’s not as many people in my class,” Buderus said.

The second time was a charm for Buderus who decided to stay in Scottsbluff.

“I really like the people here. Everybody’s nice and it feels more like a good environment for me,” Buderus said.

Buderus had to get use to the different style of play coming from Denver to Scottsbluff.  He has been developed into one of the team’s top defensive players.

“In Denver, it’s a different style of game. Everybody likes to drive to the hoop instead of shoot three’s,” Buderus said.

However, Buderus has his own strengths.

“My strength is defense and that’s pretty much it,” Buderus said.

Coach Gullion agrees with the assessment.

“He is a really good defender for us and he can really get to the rim,” Gullion said.  “He knows how to handle the ball and distribute it to the guys that are scoring a lot.”

Although his parents haven’t seen him play in Scottsbluff, he still has strong family support.

“My grandma and her boyfriend come and watch pretty much every game,” Buderus said.

“Neither of my parents have come to watch,” Buderus said. “I don’t talk to my mom, but my dad feels pretty much like it’s a waste of time.”

Buderus knows of his dad’s disapproval, but his love for the game still persists.

“Sometimes it was hard to play, but for the most part I just played anyways since I wanted to play,” Buderus said.

Even with all these barriers, Buderus has still managed to develop his game.

“I think he’s come a long way over the past year,” Gullion said. “He’s put a lot of time and effort on his ball handling skills and worked on his shooting a little bit, and he’s really grown as a player and has accepted the role of defense for us.”

Buderus still has room to grow more with one year left of high school basketball.

He has already thought out some options once he graduates.

“If I get any offers I plan to play college basketball, but other than that, I want to be either an athletic trainer or a physical therapist,” Buderus said.