Sterling Nostedt will finish his university basketball career in the second-best way he could have imagined.
Ideally, the fifth-year guard with the University of Regina Cougars would have loved to end his career with a Canadian Interuniversity Sport title. Instead, the Cougars (6-14), like the Brandon Bobcats (5-15), will miss the Canada West playoffs and the Neelin High School graduate will play his final games in his hometown of Brandon at the Healthy Living Centre tonight at 8 o’clock and tomorrow at 7 p.m.
"Of course, we always hope the playoffs will ensue after, but that didn’t seem to be the case," said Nostedt. "Once that finally clicked that (the games in Brandon) would be the last ones, I got pretty excited. It definitely means a lot. I get to play in front of people who have been there all the way through like family and friends. It’s going to be pretty special. I can’t really think of any better place that I’d like to end it."
The 6-foot-1 Brandonite also has a chance to make his mark in the Cougars’ record books. If he participates in both games this weekend, which he plans to, Nostedt will match Paul Schubach and Jamal Williams as the Cougars men’s basketball team’s all-time record holders with 106 games played. He is also three made three-pointers away from third place on the Cougars’ all-time list. Dale Holmes currently holds third place with 129. Joel Hunter is second with 195 made three-pointers and Jeff Lukomski is first with 308.
Nostedt is taking a lot of pride in having a chance to secure his spot in Cougars history, especially since he was recruited partially for his three-point shooting talents and his work ethic on the court.
"It’s a lot of hard work," said Nostedt, who is averaging 3.7 points and 14.2 minutes per game. "You have to get your body into shape to play day to day and be in the gym every day and make sure you have the ice on afterward.
"I think I missed two games in my career and that’s because the bones were broken. Otherwise, you take an Advil or something and you slug through. That’s part of why you’re an athlete. You have to push through and it’s fun. I don’t like missing it and I don’t like missing practice. It’s pretty tough to keep me from being on the court."
Things will change soon for Nostedt. His playing days will be over after Saturday and he’ll finish off his business degree with a finance major this semester before searching for a job.
However, he loved playing basketball and gives a lot of credit to Don Thomson, the head coach of both of Neelin’s varsity basketball teams, and Bobcats assistant coach Jeremy Wielenga for helping him on the court and in life.
While Nostedt is happy to finish off his university career in front of family and friends at the Healthy Living Centre, that doesn’t mean he’s going to go easy on the Bobcats.
"You’re playing for pride," he said. "Five years in that jersey. You don’t want to go out any other way than winning and if you’re not going to playoffs, then so be it. You still want to get those wins."
The Bobcats women’s basketball team (0-20) will take on the third-ranked Cougars (17-3) at 6 p.m. today and 5 p.m. tomorrow.
CAT SCRAPS: It’s Shoot for a Cure weekend at the HLC. The Bobcats women’s basketball team will wear pink shoelaces and Chantel Gaslard will shoot free throws during halftime of tonight’s men’s game with pledged money being donated for every made shot going to breast cancer research. Aimee Johnston will follow suit on Saturday … Bobcat fans with unused tickets can get into Saturday’s game for free as part of rain check night.
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