MUSKEGO, Wis. (BVM) – Brandin Podziemski’s opening year at the University of Illinois didn’t quite live up to the expectations some had placed on Wisconsin’s former Mr. Basketball. Following a plethora of roster moves from the Fighting Illini this spring, Podziemski decided it was in his best interest to find a different fit elsewhere.
After going through his options following the 2021-22 college basketball season, the Muskego native landed on Santa Clara, where he hopes to headline for an up-and-coming Broncos program that is fresh off a NIT Tournament appearance.
“We are thrilled to welcome Brandin to our Bronco Basketball Family and the Santa Clara University Community,” Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek told the program’s official website. “Brandin’s passion for the game, work ethic and versatile skill set will translate exceptionally well into our culture and style of play.”
The four-star recruit entered the collegiate ranks as one of the top players in both the state of Wisconsin and the country, clocking in as the No. 72 player in the Class of 2021, according to 247Sports. At St. John’s Northwestern, Podziemski created quite the prep resume for himself after spending his freshman year at Muskego High School. During his three years with the Lancers, he compiled a total of 2,154 points, becoming the first player in state history to amass 2,000 points in three varsity seasons.
In his senior season, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 35.1 points, 10 rebounds and 5.6 assists, leading to selections as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball honoree.
In his lone season with the Illini, Podziemski saw limited minutes in 10 of 20 conference games and never appeared in the team’s final three postseason games. The first-year guard topped career marks with seven points in back-to-back games against Saint Francis and Missouri but ended the campaign averaging just 1.4 points per game.
With a chance at finding a regular role in the starting lineup with the Broncos, Podziemski is ready to show he is still capable of the play many expected in his collegiate arrival. With Santa Clara enjoying a 21-12 season in 2021-22, the Muskego native could be the missing piece in the program’s hopes of an NCAA tournament appearance.
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