Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - December 5, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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BADGERING BRONSON KOENIG The 2013 Associated Press Wisconsin Player of the Year, Bronson Koenig is in the midst of his first season with the Cardinal and White. After concluding a remarkable prep career, which included earning two WIAA Division 3 state championships in a three-year span at La Crosse Aquinas, Koenig joins Wisconsin as one of six freshmen in the class of 2013. "I expected all of the adjustments that I've seen so far with the guys I'm playing against being bigger, faster and stronger and everything and I'm still adjusting to that, but I'd say playing defense would have to be the biggest surprise. Coming out of high school I thought I was a better defender that I actually am, but I realize a lot of it is just Coach Ryan's principles. You have to get used to his coaching style and his defense, but I'm learning and I'll get better at it as time goes on." Being a freshman, what's been the biggest surprise so far? What about yourself or your accomplishments are you most proud of? "I am very proud of my Native American heritage. Being from La Crosse and living in the city, I'm not too much in touch with it, but my mom (Ethel) works in Black River, which is where most of our tribe is from. When I was younger we would go there for Pow Wows and visit family. I'm not as in touch with it as I want to be but I am definitely proud of it and would like to be a role model for younger Native Americans all across the country." "I remember when I was really young watching Kirk Penney and Devin Harris play here, so I've been a Badgers fan ever since I can remember. I came here because of that. Having the chance to be close to home and represent my home state in front of the fans and supporters that have followed me since high school is a great feeling. To be able to put on that jersey and represent your state in a positive way like that is an indescribable feeling." When did you know you wanted to play for the Badgers? "My biggest goal in high school was to have the chance to three-peat at the state championship but getting injured my junior year put the brakes on that. So winning the state title my sophomore and senior seasons were probably two of my more memorable moments. Playing at the La Crosse Center was pretty cool, too. I think we set an attendance record when we played Onalaska, so that will always stick out to me." What's been your most memorable moment? "I imagine having five other guys go through the same things I'm going through is a lot easier than having just one or two. It's a lot better having people to talk to and relate to. Aside from hanging out with the team, we six hang out a lot in our free time. It's really nice to have those guys to talk to about basketball and anything else that's going on because, more than likely, we are all going through it and can relate." What are the perks of being a large freshman class? 22 // VARSITY December 5, 2013 QUICK Q'S WITH BRONSON Beef stroganoff Favorite home-cooked meal? Football (Wide Receiver) If I didn't play hoops, I'd play: Los Angeles Lakers Favorite pro sports team? Twitter Twitter or Instagram? Night owl Early Bird or Night Owl?

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