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Isaac Asuma reaches 2,000 career points as a sophomore
Isaac Asuma reached 2,000 career points during his first-ever state tournament game. (Courtesy: Isaac Asuma)

Isaac Asuma reaches 2,000 career points as a sophomore

IRON, Minn. (BVM) – In one of the biggest games of his career, Isaac Asuma reached a career milestone and helped his team complete a monumental turnaround.

In Cherry High School’s first state tournament game in 25 years, the sophomore put on a show. Asuma had 31 points, 17 rebounds and four assists as the Tigers beat Nevis 68-57. The win was more important to Asuma, but he also was able to reach 2,000 career points in the state quarterfinal win.

“For him to get on that stage and be able to display his talents was huge for him,” Cherry head coach Jordan Christianson said. “They got to see what this small town kid from Cherry is all about.”

Asuma followed that up with 36 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal in the state semifinal game against Hayfield. The Tigers lost but Asuma made sure everyone would remember that there was a real star up in Iron.

“Playing way up here for Cherry, you don’t get much attention so it’s super cool to finally get noticed like that,” Asuma said.

To those who have been around the 6-foot-2 guard, the attention is well deserved and has been a long time coming. What he did this year is what he has been doing for the Tigers since he first made the team as a seventh grader.

“With Isaac I feel like there’s levels to him,” Christianson said. “I feel like he just levels up every month, he’s adding something new to his game.”

Asuma was on the Cherry team that went 0-22. As he improved, so did the team and the more competitive the team became, the more he fell in love with basketball.

Up to that point, Asuma had liked baseball more but the pace of the game and the chance to win competitive games drew him towards basketball.

Isaac Asuma basketball
Isaac Asuma has played on varsity since he was in seventh grade.(Courtesy: Jordan Christianson)

“When I was younger it was always baseball and then I think in eighth grade it switched over to basketball,” Asuma said.

Even though it hadn’t always been his favorite sport, he still had been dreaming of the type of season he just had for a long time. As a kid, he would play basketball in the driveway with his younger brother, Noah, and cousin, Isaiah. Both were on the team with him this year and key contributors.

“It’s super cool,” Asuma said. “I mean when we were little we’d always be playing around in the driveway and be like, ‘We’ll go to state this year, this year and this year.’”

And with Isaac leading a young Tigers team, they absolutely can make it back to state over the next couple years. Cherry has a lot of talent behind Isaac but his ability to distribute the ball has allowed his teammates to thrive.

“I really take pride in setting everybody up, getting everybody involved in the game,” Isaac said.

His court vision is impressive and his highlight reel is filled with passes to cutting Tigers that end with an uncontested layup. Along with that passing ability, he is his teammates’ biggest fan. Isaac is constantly giving out high fives on the court and is the first to build someone backup after a mistake.

He is a leader and the stuff he does on the court makes his teammates want to play harder. For one, they want to work hard because Isaac will be doing the same, but it is also because they know that Isaac will reward that work with a pass that sets them up to score.

Leadership and passing are noticeable, but what always sticks out is his scoring ability and the shooting range he has developed.

“I’ve been working on extending my range,” Isaac said.

Isaac would confidently pull up two feet behind the three-point line and bury shots, but even those shots were smart decisions and not just Isaac throwing up a shot because he can. He lets the game come to him rather than forcing the issue.

That ability allowed him to reach 2,000 points and earlier this season, he became Cherry High School basketball’s all-time leading scorer.

He has become an effortless scorer and facilitator who, according to Christianson, is like a coach on the court. And colleges are starting to notice. He already has offers from TCU, Hampton and University of Minnesota-Duluth, but more offers are on the way.

“I’ve been dreaming of playing college basketball since I was little,” Isaac said.

The dream is continuously getting closer to a reality and with two more seasons of high school basketball still to come, Isaac Asuma will continue to become more of a household name.

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