Western Nebraska Community College and the Panhandle were well represented on the Omaha World Herald Nebraska Boys High School All-Decade team that was released earlier in April.
Teddy Allen, who played three semesters at Boys Town and finished his sophomore season at WNCC this year, was the big name as the 6-foot-4 wing player earned a First Team All-class honor. Allen was also on the Class C-1 team.
Five players from all the classes were picked for the first two teams. The Second Team All-class had Kimball’s Mike Daum listed.
Allen, who is back in Omaha finishing up his classes at WNCC, said it is a big honor to show the hard work that he put in.
“Obviously the people in Nebraska took notice of my work I put in,” Allen said. “The [All-Decade] is recognition of that.’
Allen was just one of three Cougar players that earned a spot on the individual class teams. Scottsbluff’s Dru Kuxhausen was a member of the Class B All-Decade team. Kuxhausen graduated from WNCC in 2019 before playing at McNeese State where he rewrote the 3-point record books in his first year in Louisiana.
Another former Cougar, Henry Tanksley, earned a spot on the Class D-2 All-Decade team while playing for Lincoln Parkview. Tanksley, after WNCC, went on to have an outstanding season at Peru State College, earning All-Nebraska NAIA/NCAA Division III honors by the Omaha World Herald.
“It feels good,” Kuxhausen said. “I think I had pretty good years when I was able to go to state. I guess I am glad to see that I was on it.”.
The other Panhandle athlete to make the All-Decade team was Chadron’s Elliott Eliason, who earned a spot on the Class C-1 team.
All three Cougar athletes said it shows what kind of basketball is out west to have five players earn a spot on the All-Decade team.
Kuxhausen said it says a lot about basketball in western Nebraska to have three Panhandle athletes and three players that played at WNCC on the all-Decade team.
“I am glad they put players from the Panhandle on it so they get recognized,” he said. “I definitely think the guys from WNCC deserved that, too. Teddy had a really good year and he is a really good player.”
Tanksley had a super good season at Lincoln Parkview Christian. His basketball team didn’t win state, but he won a state track title in the 400 meters in 2016. He said
“I think it is pretty cool to be on the team,” Tanksley said. “I am honored to be a part of that all-decade team. I feel pretty good. It is something to work off and get better.”
All three athletes had excellent high school careers and excelled at the junior college ranks.
Allen spent three semesters at Boys Town and delivered on the court, averaging 29.6 points a contest in 42 games. Allen finished with 1,243 points in his career. Allen was named the Gatorade Nebraska Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Allen said his team made it to state before losing in the first round in Class C-1.
He said the honor shows that people liked what he did on the court.
“It shows the people respect what I was able to do in high school and they see that,” he said.
After high school, Allen spent a year at West Virginia playing before red-shirting the next year at Wichita State. That led Allen to WNCC where he shined as a player, leading the nation in scoring at 31.4 points a game while averaging seven rebounds and four assists a contest.
Allen scored 879 points this season and is only the second player to score 800-plus points in one year. The other was Eric Gore back in 1989-90 when he scored 1,033 points. Allen does hold the school record for point average at 31.4. Gore is second at 27.92 points a game.
Allen said as much as enjoyed scoring, he would trade leading the nation in scoring for a trip to nationals.
“I would of liked to make it to nationals,” he said. “I just to be able to help my team win games and I felt what I had to do was go out and score a lot of points a lot of nights.”
A lot of Allen’s scoring came because of the WNCC coaching staff.
“I would say the coaching staff helped me to do other things so we could be a better team,” he said.
Kuxhausen had stellar careers on all three levels. At Scottsbluiff, Kuxhausen scored 2,110 career points, ranking 17th all-time among boys in the state. He averaged 11.5 points as a freshman and by the time he was a senior he more than doubled his scoring, averaging 28.5 points a clip.
In his one year at WNCC, Kuxhausen averaged 19.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and three assists a contest. He connected on 51 percent of his 3-point shots, making 119 treys and ranked fifth in the nation. He also hit on 89.1 percent of his free throws.
Last season at McNeese State, Kuxhausen rewrote the 3-point shooting record book for the Cowboys. Kuxhausen, while earning all-conference third team honors, led Division I with 125 3-pointers, setting a new McNeese and Southland Conference record. He became the first Cowboy in the Division I era to top the country in a stat category. He also ranked second with 3.91 three-pointers made per game and was third in 3-point shooting at 45.8 percent, also a school record.
Kuxhausen said he had good years at WNCC and McNeese State.
“I had a pretty good year I thought [at WNCC],” he said. “I had a good year because I was able to go to WNCC and play for Coach Cory and he really helped me out.”
At McNeese, Kuxhausen said he didn’t expect to have the year he did.
“It was pretty cool to come in and do that [to set records and lead the nation],” he said. “I didn’t think I would be able to do that at all. I think I choose the right place to come and I really like my coach. I am just happy I came here.”
Kuxhausen’s McNeese State team was one of the last teams to play a college basketball game before everything was canceled because of the corona virus pandemic.
“I was glad that we got to play our one game. It would have been pretty bad if we didn’t get to play at least one game,” he said. “I think it is better to lose than to win and not know how far you could have went. I wish we could have got it done, but next year.”
As for Tanksley, he had good seasons in all his stops. At Lincoln Parkview Christian, Tanksley averaged 16.5 points as a sophomore.
Tanksley said they had a good coach in Garth Glissman.
“We had a great team and a great coach in Garth Glissman. He was an awesome coach,” Tanksley, who stood 6-foot-2, but had a wingspan of a 6-9 player, said. “We shook up and made history at Lincoln Parkview Christian.”
After Parkview Christian, Tanksley spent a year at Central Wyoming College before his sophomore year at WNCC. As a Cougar, he averaged 8.5 points and made 38 3-pointers.