Devils Lake Journal Player Profile: Dane Hagler, North Star Basketball

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – The North Star Bearcats Boys Basketball team might only be a handful of games into their 2021-22 season, but to sophomore guard Dane Hagler, it might as well be the postseason, given how he has played so far. 

North Star’s first official week of basketball action certainly illustrated Hagler’s productivity on the court. Through three games played (Dec. 13-19), Hagler averaged 25 points per game (PPG), 6.3 rebounds per game (RPG) and 5.7 assists per game (APG). And to top it all off? The Bearcats went a pristine 3-0 over the stretch. 

According to North Star head coach Jesse Vote, one word can perfectly describe Hagler. The word? Talented. Whether it be his playing ability on the gridiron, diamond or court, Vote believes he has a star at his disposal. 

“I think he can excel in a lot of different athletic areas,” Vote said. “You take a look at football. He was our quarterback. He was our general on the football field. In baseball, he is our shortstop. He can bat anywhere. I think he has a lot of talent in his bag, and it is nice to have that kid because that is going to help feed the other kids to hopefully get to where he is at. He has actually gotten better in terms of rebounds, assists and steals…it is not just strictly scoring. Yes, he is averaging 25 points per game, but he is starting to expand in the stat categories.” 

But it isn’t always about the numbers. Sometimes, the intangibles have to play a determining factor, also. In Hagler’s case, it is about taking over the leadership reigns. 

After playing behind role models before, it is now up to Hagler to become that role model himself. In Vote’s mind, Hagler’s next step is to become that unanimous leader on and off the court. Should the sophomore continue to tackle each obstacle that comes his way, the leadership role will become his in no time. 

“I think he is starting to slowly emerge as our leader,” Vote said. “He has been playing varsity basketball for sure as an eighth-grader, so he has been underneath a few older guys’ wings. It seems like he is taking control. He can handle a little more adversity as he is getting stronger and older.”

Every team needs that one player, no matter the level. That one player, of course, does not refer to a points machine. Instead, it refers to an individual everyone can count on to be a mentor. As Hagler continues to refine his control, the possibilities will always be there for him. 

To Vote, it all revolves back to the intangibles. 

“If you have a leader like that, your hope is that other kids are going to follow, whether it be actions or work ethic," Vote said. "You need to have somebody on the court…take Tom Brady, for instance. You have that guy on the field that is almost like their offensive coordinator. Hopefully, Dane is going to be developed into that guy. I don’t think he is there quite yet, but hopefully, he is going to be that guy that is almost like having another coach on the floor. Our group of sophomores, they still have some growing to do maturing-wise. Hopefully, we have more than one leader down the road.”