WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW)- “I would've never dreamed of scoring 45 points in a varsity high school basketball game."
Wausau East senior basketball player Gabe Krueger at practice in Wausau, WI on December 3, 2019. (WSAW)
But dreams became reality for Wausau East big man Gabe Krueger two weeks ago
In the Lumberjacks 101-66 win over Ashland, Krueger’s 45 point performance broke a program record for scoring in a single game.
"I didn't even know it was a record,” said Krueger. “I didn't even know it was close to a record until I was subbed out and then my coaching staff said ‘Hey were going to put you back in to break this record, but then we're pulling you right back out.’"
Through four games, Krueger is averaging 37 points a contest, and the Lumberjacks are 3-1.
That's a far cry from Krueger's first year as a varsity player two years ago, when East went 2-21 for the entire season.
"It made me realize a lot of weaknesses I had in my game,” Krueger says. “Made me realize what I really needed to work on in the offseason to take that leap to be a good varsity player, not just a varsity player.
“I don't know, it just made that fire inside of me burn even hotter."
New Lumberjacks head coach Troy Pieper is hoping to build something special at East, and Krueger is doing more than just scoring at an outrageous pace to make that a reality.
"Building a culture and the program and a tradition of winning, you need to build it from the ground up in the feeder programs,” said Pieper. “Gabe is really good with our youth, he doesn't miss a youth clinic, he's at our youth camps in the summer. He's just really good with the kids."
The six foot six scoring machine's guidance is helping make East better in the future, but he's not shying away from his plan for the present either.
"My goal is to go out in the Kohl Center, competing for a state championship,” says Krueger. “I've always thought if that's not your goal, you're not playing for the right thing."