Wesclin Warriors starting five — where are they now?
PAUL LUSK: Played college basketball at Iowa and then Southern Illinois University Carbondale, helping lead the Salukis to three straight NCAA Tournament trips. Played pro basketball in the U.S. and Argentina and was in two training camps with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Once he turned to coaching, Lusk spent one season as an assistant at Southwestern Illinois College, three seasons as an assistant at Division II Missouri Southern State, one season as the head coach at Division III Dubuque and one season as an assistant at SIUC. He spent seven seasons as an assistant at Purdue, then was hired as Missouri State’s head coach in 2010, following another former Purdue assistant with metro-east ties, Cuonzo Martin. Inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, Lusk’s 2,743 points scored as a four-year starter at Wesclin are the 14th highest career total in Illinois history.
BRENT BREDE: Drafted out of high school in the fifth round of the 1990 Major League Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Brede passed up a baseball scholarship to Arkansas to sign with the Twins, eventually playing in the major leagues for two seasons with the Twins (1996 and 1997) and in 1998 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit .251 with five homers and 40 RBIs in 169 games. Brede also played professional baseball in Japan, then returned to the U.S. and was the head basketball coach at Wesclin from 2001-08. He returned again this season as the Warriors’ head coach and led the team to a 21-9 record.
MATT FRIDLEY: Played basketball at Southwestern Illinois College for two seasons and SIU Edwardsville for two more before moving into the business world. He is the Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for Brenntag, North America, Inc., a worldwide chemical distribution company based in Reading, Pa. Before that, he held similar positions with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Boeing.
MIKE BRINK: Brink played baseball at Kaksaskia College for one season on a team that came within one game of the national tournament, then played basketball at John Brown University in Arkansas where he was a top 3-point shooter. Brink was a teacher, principal and later the superintendent at High Mount School District #116 in Belleville from 1997 to 2012. Since 2012 he has been the superintendent of Nashville’s grade school and middle school district #49. Inducted into the Kaskaskia College Athletic Hall of Fame.
MATT BRANDMEYER: Brandmeyer racked up some impressive college degrees at SIU Carbondale, SIU Edwardsville along with a master’s from St. Louis University in urban planning and real estate development. He worked as a planner for the city of Chesterfield, Mo., planning director for Creve Couer, Mo., and also worked previously as development manager for the Koman Group. For the last five years he has been the planning development administrator for Madison County.
— Norm Sanders