Plitzuweit Has Passion For the Game

Plitzuweit Has Passion For the Game

As the son of a coach, AJ Plitzuweit knows how to handle tough questions.

“(So Who Taught You Basketball, Mom or dad?) I’m not going to answer that question! Either one of them will be mad!” AJ says.

“It was a combination of mom and dad. Dad really spent a lot of time with him in the gym when he was a high school coach when AJ was real young, probably in third or fourth grade. And certainly between AJ being in a gym with either one of us he’s played a lot of basketball.” USD Womens’ Basketball Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit says.

It’s getting a handle on him that has proven difficult for the rest of South Dakota prep basketball.

“His stamina is unbelievable. He kind of gets stronger as the game goes on. I know our opponents are out there keying on him and trying to deny him and limit his touches and wear him down and it’s almost the reverse effect.” Vermillion Boys’ Basketball Head Coach Jay Drake says.

Strength has never been an issue for AJ on or off the court, especially once his mother left Northern Kentucky to take over as the USD women’s basketball coach, forcing AJ to move from Dixie Heights in Kentucky to Vermillion prior to his junior year.

“It was a tough transition at first but the community of Vermillion was very welcoming and nice right from the get go.” AJ says.

“Really uprooted him and put him in a very uncomfortable situation and all he’s done is flourish in that.” Dawn says.

Now Plitzuweit is the leader of a young Tanager team and one of the state’s leading scorers, averaging 32 points a game.

“I like being in the spotlight but also I’m just doing what I can to help the team win.” AJ says.

His career will continue in college next season, just not opposite his mom at USD. AJ will head to Augustana….

“I’m really happy he’s at Augie. I think it’s a great fit for him. Certainly style of play and playing for coach Billeter and his staff, he’s really excited about that.” Dawn says.

“They (mom and dad) always try to tell me that if I don’t want to play basketball then that’s okay. But it’s always been in the blood in the Plitzuweit family.” AJ says.

…Where he will no doubt have a good idea how to handle himself!

In Vermillion, Zach Borg, KDLT Sports.

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