DE SMET, S.D. (BVM) – The De Smet Bulldogs entered the season as the reigning state champions and they already look like they can run it back this season.
“We’re getting better,” Bulldogs senior guard Kalen Garry said. “We still have some little things to fix but it will come.”
Garry is once again playing a big role in the success De Smet is having this year. As a junior, he averaged 23 points and seven rebounds per game last season. In the state championship, Garry scored 22 points to help win the Bulldogs’ first title in over 20 years. He also became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
However, the stats didn’t matter to Garry and as he began to look towards his senior season, there was only one thing on his mind.
“Go back and run it back, that’s all I wanted to do,” Garry said.
That mentality has led Garry to having an impressive last run with the Bulldogs. Gary is once again averaging more than 20 points a game and has received some national recognition for his work out on the court.
“My phone was going crazy after that game,” Garry said.
In just their fourth game of the season, De Smet played nationally-ranked Dream City Christian out of Arizona. In that game, Garry scored 35 points and almost led the Bulldogs to a thrilling upset, but fell short losing 61-57.
That game was the culmination of a three-game week that can only be described as incredible. Against Clark/Willow Lake, Garry hit the game-tying three with eight seconds left and then drilled another at the buzzer to win the game. He followed that up with a windmill dunk in the next game against Estelline/Hendricks. Then there was the game against Dream City and combined, Garry scored 87 points during those three games.
“It was a fun week that one week but we got a lot of work to do, and got a lot more games to play this season,” Garry said.
Even though Garry was and still is more focused on the team more than anything else, he did receive a lot of attention from colleges.
Soon after, Garry received an offer from University of South Dakota and then from South Dakota State.
“I always wanted to play college basketball since I was a little kid,” Garry said.
That dream was coming true. Garry had always loved playing basketball and had first realized he could play at the college level back as a freshman. He played on varsity and helped the Bulldogs make it to the state championship.
From there Garry continued to work hard. Training everyday, working on his game and never settling for where he was at.
“Everything always needs improvement,” Garry said.
His love of the game and that mentality led him to a state championship and to making a decision on where he wanted to play in college. In the end, he chose the Jackrabbits.
“They play good defense and shoot a lot of threes,” Garry said. “That’s what I like to do so I wanted to go there.”
“It’s a dream come true.”
Garry can’t wait to be a Jackrabbit but there is still work to be done at De Smet. The Bulldogs are one of the top teams in Class B currently and at this rate, they will be more than ready for the state tournament come March.