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January 31, 2018 10:40 PM

AJ Plitzuweit: The Spectacular Senior Season

Vermillion, SD

AJ Plitzuweit is having one of the greatest single-seasons in South Dakota high school basketball history.

Entering this week the senior was averaging more than 33 points and nine rebounds per game. 

This is just AJ Plitzuweit's second season in Vermillion, but head coach Jay Drake calls him a "blessing."

"He comes from a basketball family and he's got high basketball IQ and knows and understands the game," Drake said. 

AJ has been playing basketball ever since making his first basket more than a decade ago.

"He's been in a gym ever since then really working on his game, handling it, scoring, you know pulling up and shooting, shooting it from the arc and it's just been fun to watch him continue to grow and develop," his mom, Dawn said. 

Earlier this season, AJ took the basketball world by storm when he scored 52 points in a win at Lennox. He scored 41 of those points in the second half.

"We were down at halftime so I was just coming out with the mindset that I was going to do anything it took for our team to win," AJ said. 

"He was struggling in the first quarter, second quarter, even the start of the third quarter. To start the third quarter he got around the rim and he had a lay-up, he missed it, he got an offensive rebound he missed it, got another offensive rebound finally put it back in and then he caught fire so what was great to see is that he fought through adversity first and then played well after that," Dawn said. 

AJ doesn't often leave basketball at the gym. His younger sister Lexi is a member of the Vermillion High School girls basketball team and his mom, Dawn, can be found on the sidelines here at the Sanford Coyotes Sports Center as the head coach of the South Dakota women's basketball team.

"It is really fun as a coach to watch that but also as a parent to watch that to see it kind of come to full fruition if you will," Dawn said. 

"It is definitely very special and I'm very fortunate but it's all about winning for me and it's all about being a team leader," AJ said. 

Plitzuweit will continue his basketball career in KELOLAND. Next season he'll be an Augustana Viking. 
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