An AWESOME Blossom career
Is there anything on the basketball court that Blooming Prairie senior Megan Oswald can’t do?
Not only is she in the top five all-time for career assists and career points, but this past month, she broke two school records, career rebounds and career steals.
After last Friday’s game, Oswald has recorded at least 976 rebounds and 309 steals and counting.
Coach John Bruns said rebounds and steals are hard statistics to keep track of during the flow of a game, so they didn’t know for sure that Oswald had broken either record until the day after each record-breaking game.
In fact, the four-year varsity starter found out she broke each record when she saw her coach’s posts on Twitter.
“I was pretty excited to see that I got them. I feel like my hard work is paying off,” she said.
Oswald believes her hard work and constant effort is what makes her such a great rebounder.
“Sometimes I’m a little bit shorter than people, but I feel like if you work hard, you can get them,” she said.
Bruns added that her determination and unwavering resolve to never quit on a ball has also helped her become an elite rebounder.
“There’s some rebounds where there might be two or three other girls there and some kids might say, ‘I’m not going to get that one,’ and head back the other way, but she never really gives up on a play. Sometimes it’s just taking a couple extra running steps after it and all of the sudden she comes out with it,” he said. “She’s also got really, really strong hands and if she gets her hand on the ball, it’s usually going to end up that she’s going to have it.”
When it comes to her career steals record, Oswald said what has helped her a lot is her speed and seeing her opponents’ eyes and where they’re going to throw the ball.
“She’s been a great anticipator since third and fourth grade. We saw it then, she just had a knack for knowing where the next pass was going to go, and she’s been doing this since then. That anticipation is huge,” he said.
He noted that another reason she is so good at swiping the ball is because she’s played a lot of Blooming Prairie High School and AAU basketball games and that has helped develop her basketball instincts.
“She definitely had that back in third and fourth grade and has just improved it every year,” he said.
Bruns knows that because he was her coach in third through sixth grade and then again in eighth grade when Oswald joined the varsity team.
Including Oswald, four of the Blossoms’ five seniors have been on varsity since eighth grade, while the fifth senior, Ashleigh Alwes, along with junior Bobbie Bruns have been on varsity for the past four years.
Oswald believes that her strong chemistry with those five teammates has helped them play well together as a team and helped her achieve these records.
“I can’t really do it without my teammates, so that means we’ve been working really well together,” she said.
Bruns agreed that Oswald’s teammates deserve credit for helping her achieve these records.
“It’s a team effort getting those steals. We talk about it all the time about getting deflections and there’s a lot of times where her steals are tipped by a teammate and she ends up getting the ball. Then, she’s also tipping balls and other people are getting steals and as a team we get a lot of steals that way,” he said. “It’s a full-team concept so it’s a cool record for not just Megan, but the whole team because it all goes hand-in-hand.”
Oswald explained that her teammates have also played a big role in her attaining the school rebounding record.
“There’s lots of times where someone else will box out and then suddenly it just opens up and I’m able to go [get the ball] or a guard is able to go. A lot of times I’ll box someone out and then someone else might go so it’s a big team effort on rebounds. We talk about five girls going in all the time,” she said.
With the help from her teammates, she now holds two school records, but she’s not done yet.
“It means a lot, but I feel like it’s not defining. It feels good to get it, but I feel like there’s other stuff I can still look forward to getting,” she said.
Oswald is looking forward to reaching 1,000 career rebounds and leading the Blossoms to a successful run in the section playoffs.
Averaging nearly 13 rebounds per game and with at least 976 rebounds already under her belt and three more regular season games as well as playoff games, she’ll most likely achieve her 1,000-rebound goal. Meanwhile, achieving her goal of a deep playoff run will be more difficult, but the 14-1 Awesome Blossoms, led by their do-it-all, record-breaking forward, have proved throughout this season that they can win big and small and with 24 years of varsity experience in their starting lineup, they’ll be ready for whatever adversity they face in the section playoffs.