ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Watching his son play basketball is nothing out of the ordinary for Clebby Bergstraser. His son, St. Cloud State Men’s basketball Center Tim Bergstraser, has grown up on the hardwood.
“He was always outside playing with the hoop or throwing a basketball around;” says Clebby Bergstraser “he was always doing something with sports.”
But before Tim ever wore red and black, he wore red and blue and was playing on the courts of Apollo High School.
“Tim was a late bloomer but between his junior and senior year he stretched,” says Apollo Head Coach Dean Kesler “all of sudden he went from short and chubby to lean and mean.”
After graduating in 2009, Tim decided to stick close to home and his family. Despite interest from others colleges he chose to follow in the footsteps of Kesler and play for the Huskies.
“He had a lot of smaller colleges coming to watch him his senior year,” says Kesler “St. Cloud noticed how well he was playing and the rest is history.”
Tim was a stand out player for SCSU. The 6’6″ 235 pound Junior proved to be a force to be reckoned with until he tore his ACL his sophomore season.
“The timing of the injury kills me the most;” says Bergstraser “we were playing in a tournament in Colorado and I was having a career game.”
With a strong support system behind him Tim was determined to bounce back.
“Tim’s a fighter,” says Kesler “when he found out it was his ACL he said he was going to come back better than ever.”
Even though Tim is seeing less of the court and more of the bench then he is used to, he attributes his greatest life lessons to his favorite game.
“I have played this game my whole life;” says Bergstraser “everything I have been through with my knee helped me understand that it is more than a game.”
Tim’s love for basketball is not only evident as he heals but has been admired by everyone around him.
“One thing Tim still has to this day is his love to play;” says Kesler “in the summer I drive by his house and he is always shooting baskets or working out.”
Even after he hangs up his #54 jersey, Tim hopes he is remembered for one thing.
“Hard worker;” says Bergstraser “even though now I have to be a different player I’m doing everything I can to help the team.”
The Huskies are coming off a win last night against Concordia-St. Paul in the first round of the NSIC conference tournament 95-90, and are working hard to make it back to the Final Four.
Their next matchup is this Saturday against Upper Iowa University. The men take the court at 4 p.m. at Halenbeck Hall.