Prep boys' basketball: Pasker emerges as go-to guy for Jordan

Prep boys basketball • Center only scored 15 points as a junior.
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Sandy • The Jordan boys' basketball team certainly won't intimidate opposing teams when the players step off the bus.

Just two players listed taller than 6 foot 3, and three others who see significant playing time don't even crack 6 feet.

This is not a team that would pass the eye test in street clothes at least.

But what the Beetdiggers lack in size, they make up for in unity. Starting center Brandon Pasker is the personification of the team's approach: let your game, not your size, do the talking.

Pasker has emerged as the team's go-to player a year after scoring a total of 15 points as a junior in a reserve role. He stands 6-6 and is listed at 190 pounds (with rolls of quarters in his pockets?) but makes his presence felt in the post.

"The junior-to-senior year development has been really critical with him," Jordan coach Rob Geertsen said. "He's real skinny, but he's actually stronger than he looks. All of his teammates have learned that the ball has to go through him to make them successful, too."

Pasker has scored in double figures in all but one of Jordan's first 18 games, highlighted by a 35-point effort against East in December.

He added about 15 pounds of muscle over the summer by working with John Madsen, a former University of Utah receiver and Oakland Raiders tight end.

"I feel like I can finish around the rim pretty well," said Pasker, who entered the week averaging 17.9 points per game. "It's a big difference. I can definitely jump higher, run faster."

Geertsen said the added size has helped boost Pasker's confidence.

"I think he's playing real confident right now," Geertsen said. "I think that's a result of working on his body in the offseason."

The results have been staggering. Six double-doubles (in scoring and rebounding) entering the week, and 14 wins in the standings — three more than last year's total.

Pasker alone cannot take credit for the victories. The Beetdiggers' all-senior rotation also features 5-11 point guard Chandler Smith (11.7 points per game) and 6-foot forward Jonas Jones (10.3).

Geertsen said the players dedicated themselves in the offseason to turning around a program that closed last season with six losses in its final seven games.

"We did a lot of stuff with our team in the offseason," Geertsen said. "Last spring we sat down as a group and decided we were going to all be committed, we were going to be all-in on everything that we did.

"[Pasker] was part of every single thing that we did in the offseason. With all the hard work we put in, now we're kind of doing it for each other."

The Beetdiggers went 4-1 to start Region 3 play, with the lone loss a 73-56 loss to Brighton.

"I feel like we all stick together and we don't point figures like we did last year," Pasker said. "We played hard last year, but I feel we play more as a team. I feel like we have more fun." —

Pasker file

Jordan senior Brandon Pasker scored in double figures in 17 of the team's first 18 games this season.

Pasker, who scored just 15 points all of last season, had a career-high 35 points against East in December.

Pasker is part of an all-senior eight-man rotation that coach Rob Geertsen plays.