The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball team had a great week regarding the future of the program.
Phoenix received a verbal commitment from Hartland Arrowhead senior guard Mack Reck on Monday, five days after landing Neenah guard Cal Klesmit.
The two are widely considered two of the top five to seven prospects in the state for the Class of 2023, with the 6-foot-5 Wrecke ranked third overall.
UWGB coach Will Ryan and his staff have been interested in Wreck for over a year and offered him a scholarship in June.
Reck also had NCAA Division I offers from Horizon League rival UW-Milwaukee and Wofford.
The offer from the Panthers was extended in December by former coach Patrick Baldwin, who was fired in March after five seasons.
Reck discussed it with the school’s assistant coach, but didn’t believe new coach Bart Lundy planned to propose.
He wasn’t interested in waiting for one, wanting to decide his college future before the final prep period so he could focus on competing for a state championship.
Wreck’s future Phoenix teammate, incoming freshman guard Jack Rose, had a similar situation earlier this year.
Rose had an offer from UWM during Baldwin’s tenure before his new hire expired, and he eventually committed to UWGB in May.
Maybe the Panthers’ loss is Phoenix’s gain.
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“I felt like the coaches did a really good job of building a good relationship with me,” Reck said of Ryan and his staff of Jared Swanson, Freddie Owens and Brandon Pritzl. “They always met, and I felt like it was the right place for me to find more opportunities. I felt very at home.
Under NCAA rules, Ryan is not allowed to comment on recruits until they sign letters of intent.
But getting a big scorer is a small question.
Wreck averaged 20.7 points as a junior for Arrowhead last season, leading the Warhawks to a 19-7 mark before losing to Middleton in the WIAA Division 1 regional championship.
Reck scored a game-high 21 points in the loss, accounting for 52.5% of Arrowhead’s points. It came one game after he had 30 points in the regional opener against Verona.
He has been a key player for the team since his freshman season and has averaged double figures in his first three years. That includes a sophomore-high 24.9 points per game.
Reck scored 1,494 career points while showing the ability to shoot effectively from anywhere on the court, something Phoenix could have used last season.
He shot a career-high 48.7% shooting percentage and 39.9% from 3-point range.
Wreck likes the Wisconsin flavor UWGB features on the roster. Klesmit and Wrecke will be the ninth and 10th players from the state when they arrive on campus next summer.
He said he previously played with Klesmit, attended basketball camps with Rose and had the opportunity to watch UWGB junior guard Nate Jenkins play at Kettle Moraine while growing up.
“I’ve really been watching them over the last couple of years,” Reck said. “They got a lot more commitments from out of state, and I think that’s great. I think you are building something very special.
Although UWGB went 5-25 last season and 13-42 over the past two, Wreck’s interest in the school has not waned. He believes better times are coming, and he wants to be a part of them.
“Nothing scares me,” he said. “Their new players have come in. I’ve come in. Cal, I think we can all bring something to the table that will really help the program and help the team win.”
Wreck’s role with Phoenix hasn’t been discussed much, but he believes the crew will find a way to contribute.
“I feel like I can do a lot of things,” Reck said. “Defensively, I can guard multiple spots. On offense, I can finish. Shoot.”
“I feel like there’s a lot of places I can go.”