Northern Star: Will Van Scoy

For this week's segment, we feature a senior on the Duluth East basketball team who's continuing to work his way back after missing the Greyhounds special season last year with an ACL tear.

DULUTH, Minn. – Basketball has always kept Will Van Scoy focused.

“My parents, my mom, my dad, they always asked me like Will what do you want to do when you get older and I said I want to play basketball,” Van Scoy, a senior guard on the Duluth East boys basketball team said.

That was until August of 2020 when he suffered a season-ending injury.

“I tore my ACL. Had to get surgery and pretty much had to sit out and watch the season as I did physical therapy and tried to get my leg back to normal,” Van Scoy said.

While Van Scoy spent every day in physical therapy he still went to Duluth East practice and helped his teammates how he could, as the Greyhounds then went on to state for the first time since 2012.

“That was pretty tough for me to watch, especially because I’ve been playing with them since I was in fourth grade so it was hard to stand by and watch but I was really proud of them. Them having to guard me and practice with me made them better,” Van Scoy said.

“Last year’s team, we had been talking about last year for a very long time and when Will suffered the injury, we thought all was lost. He was probably the most positive guy on the bench, every day at practice throwing high fives, talking to teammates I mean, that says a lot about the kid that he was where I’ve had guys who have had season ending injuries in the past and it’s hard for them to show up each day. He just came and brought it every single day,” head coach Rhett McDonald added.

Now more than a year later, Van Scoy is back playing with the Greyhounds and leading a very young team.

“When I saw him this summer, he was only a shell of what he had been and I know that that had really frustrated him. He might say that he can be better, I think that he can, too but he’s been very good for us. His leadership is contagious and it’s funny when he starts to lead and the path that he chooses to take as a leader, everyone follows. He’s a leader by example but he’s also a vocal leader,” McDonald said.

On the court, he’s averaging just over 19 points a game and last weekend, he hit the game-winner with just one second on the clock.

“I’ve never had a game winning shot before so I was like I don’t really know what to do with myself right now but honestly it felt great,” Van Scoy said.

“After I let it kind of sink in and I watched the clip over and over and over again, I got a little emotional just to know what this kid has been through and now he’s finally on the floor and he’s able to make a big play like that. It’s kind of like big ol’ Will’s back,” McDonald added.

As the season continues, Van Scoy is focused on getting back to 100 percent while also bringing this team back to state.

“Even during summer time I didn’t feel 100 percent, even right now I don’t feel like I’m there so in a way, it’s nice to see that I can still do well but I know too myself that I can get better. I wasn’t on the court while they were doing everything so in a way, I want to make my own run and get back there,” Van Scoy said.

“I would love to see Will play at Williams Arena where our state tournament is. It’s been something that this kid has been looking forward to for quite some time,” McDonald added.

Regardless of what the rest of this season holds for Van Scoy and the Greyhounds, his mark has already been left on this program for year to come.

“He means a lot to us, he means a lot to the high school, he means a lot to our basketball program as well. The way that he responded and just chose to serve his teammates instead of himself, every single day he brought it, every single day he served, every single day he gave whatever he could to his teammates and I think moving forward, he’ll always be used as an example. If Will could have done it when he tore his ACL, anyone can,” McDonald said.

Categories: High School, Northern Star, Sports