Former Bulldog preparing for collegiate basketball career.
Some of the participants from the Gerald Pilz & Friends All-Star Games annually look at the event as the end of their prep basketball careers.
Others see it as the beginning of their upcoming collegiate adventures.
For Rolla High School graduate Damaris Facen, it was all of the above.
“I see it as both,” said Facen, who plans to continue playing basketball at Hannibal-LaGrange, a NAIA program located in Hannibal, Mo. “I’m not in the off-season yet; I’m kind of between. You just try to get better to help your program for college.”
Facen competed in the 20th annual Pilz boys’ all-star activity Saturday night on the campus of College of the Ozarks. He scored four points, helping the white team secure the boys’ team title.
He says he’s been training throughout the summer in preparation for the jump from the high school game to the college level.
“Every day I’m working out,” said Facen, who plans to major in psychology at Hannibal-LaGrange. “Trying to get stronger, running, conditioning and eating right.”
A 6-0 guard, Facen figures to be more of a ball handler in college. So much of his on-court work has been improving that phase of the game.
“Mostly my off-hand dribbling,” he said. “Coming off screens and shooting. Also working on being a leader, which is what the point guard is.
“Where (the ball handling) is at now is good. But it could always improve. I’m still working on my right hand; to get it better.”
Facen’s high school head coach, RHS head coach Mark Miller, was on hand Saturday to watch his former player.
Miller feels Facen will mature into a solid collegiate guard.
“He is young; one of the youngest college freshmen,” Miller said. “His game continues to improve. He has a huge up-side. He’s jam-packed with athletism and is a hard-worker. And more than anything he’s just a wonderful person; a high-qualify person.
“I wish we had him one more year.”