Demons’ all-time leading scorer overcomes several injuries, shines in all-star game

Nick Klug soars for two back in the January in Lake Geneva, the same night he broke Tony Romo’s 20-year school scoring record. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

Just a few short months ago, Nick Klug, Burlington High School’s all-time leading scorer, saw what should’ve been a dominant senior season cut short due to injury.

While his team struggled without its top player, Klug was reduced to riding a motorized scooter after a severe sprained ankle and a nagging right foot injury forced him off the court.

A recent Division 2 Winona State University recruit, it simply wasn’t smart to test his injuries during a March playoff game, so Klug, who broke Tony Romo’s scoring record back in December, had to wait.

Last month, his patience finally paid off.

Given the opportunity to play in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game, Klug showed why he’s one of the best players in the state in his first game back.

The June 16 exhibition at Just-A-Game Field House in Wisconsin Dells showcased the cream of the crop, including Mr. Basketball Jordan McCabe of Kaukauna, as the Division 2 North All-Stars beat the South, 107-101.

But Klug, a 6-foot point guard with ridiculous quickness, handles and perhaps a stronger work ethic, balled out, racking up 27 points to lead the South with a staggering seven 3-pointers.

Klug said it was a great week of basketball, and he feels back to normal.

“The All-Star game was fun,” Klug said. “Playing with the state’s best players is really fun. I’ve been back playing for awhile now, and I’ve been feeling good. I feel like I’m getting to that point where I’m almost as normal as I was before my injury.”

 

Injuries pile up

A quarterback for the Demon football team last fall, Klug injured his right foot and missed a few games before playing through the pain the rest of the season.

Then, during a Dec. 19 basketball game at Waterford, Klug suffered a severe sprained left ankle and needed crutches to leave the court.

Klug eventually discovered from a specialist with the Milwaukee Bucks that his right foot was broken and further usage could result in a career-ending predicament.

As soon as Klug could play hoops again, he was working harder than anyone.

To help prepare for a summer of basketball and college ball in the fall, Klug was working out six days a week on basketball stuff along with lifting three to four days a week.

“I’ve been pushing myself to get back into the shape I was in before and trying to prepare myself for the next level, Klug said. “It felt good to play well out there. My shot felt great, and it was a great first game back from an injury.”

Klug, who started from day one of his freshman season at point guard and earned first team All-Area as a junior, only played in a handful of games his senior season, but it was enough to break Romo’s 20-year-old scoring record.

Klug is only the third Demon in school history to score 1,000 points, behind Romo and Eric Le Duc.

The Demons had a strong team and had a very good chance to make it to Division 2 state had Klug stayed healthy.

Klug now has a little over a month to enjoy the summer and prepare for the next chapter of his love affair with basketball, something that was almost taken away from him for good.

“This summer I’m just doing lots and lots of workouts along with hanging with my friends and family before I head out,” Klug said. “I move into school Aug. 20. I’m kind of nervous but at the same time it’s time to move on, and I think I’m ready.”

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