PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: BC's Willems reaches 1,000 career points in win over Hamilton

·4 min read

Jan. 24—GOSHEN — Bethany Christian senior Beck Willems didn't think reaching 1,000 career points was attainable heading into the season, despite the fact he had 748 through three seasons already coming in.

On Saturday, Willems reached the milestone with half the season still to go.

The senior knocked down a jumper in the third quarter of the Bruins' game against Hamilton to give him 29 for the game and 1,001 for his career. He became the fourth player in program history to reach the landmark total. Bethany Christian went on to easily win the game, 70-28.

"It's crazy," said Willems of the accomplishment. "I had the opportunity to start freshman year, and everybody was telling me, 'Oh, you think you're going to reach 1,000?' And I'd say, 'No, I don't think so.' ... To think I hit it in the middle of this season is pretty crazy."

Willems has been a four-year starter for Bethany, leading the team in scoring the last two seasons. So far this year, the senior is averaging 19.4 points a game as the Bruins sit with a 6-7 record with five weeks left in the regular season.

The senior needed 28 points to reach 1,000 for his career going into yesterday's game, so Willems didn't enter the contest thinking he would get it. He made a shot on the first possession of the game, though, which made him feel like there was a chance it could happen.

His teammates started getting the ball to him more, and Willems kept making shots. He finished 10-of-14 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to get him past the 1,000-point mark.

"I wanted to get it at home," Willems said. "And it was a stretch, because I needed 28 points. But once I started getting points, I was like, 'Alright, I can do this.' ... It's an accomplishment and an award for me, but it's definitely a team award as well. I have the best teammates in the world. They were getting me the ball. Once they realized what was happening, everyone was so unselfish. It was awesome. I appreciated it, and I'm just thankful to have great teammates."

With plenty of games remaining, Willems has a chance to make it to the top of the school's all-time scoring list. Eliot Friesen, a 1997 graduate, is currently first at 1,146 points. Seth Kauffman (2010) is second at 1,104 points and 2018 alum Seth Brenneman is third at 1,098. While the all-time scoring record is in sight, Willems isn't trying to reach the milestone.

"I'm not really going to think about it," Willems said. "I didn't really think about the 1,000-point mark, too; it just kind of happened. I'm just going to keep playing, and if it comes, it comes. That's definitely the next goal, though. That'd be amazing."

Here is what Willems' coach, Daniel Mast, and Bethany Christian athletic director Gary Chupp and Beck's father, Bethany Christian principal Hank Willems, had to say about the senior's accomplishment.

Mast: "1,000 points for Beck Willems is a number that signifies the countless hours he has put into becoming a better basketball player every year, adding more to his skillset and becoming a better athlete; doing whatever it took. But being on Buller Court and seeing his teammates, the fans, and the student section celebrate his achievement was the bigger indication of who he is as a person. He puts others above himself at all times, and that is a bigger accomplishment than all the points he has scored. I am humbled to be around him and excited to see what more he has to achieve both this year and beyond."

Chupp: "What's remarkable about Beck joining the 1,000-point club is he is the most unselfish player you will find. From his first game starting as a freshman, he has always been willing to make the right basketball play. Obviously, he has always been able to score, but he gets just as much satisfaction passing the ball. Tremendous leader, high basketball IQ, treats people the right way. Great accomplishment, well deserved — congratulations Beck."

Hank Willems: "That's a big individual accomplishment for Beck, but even a bigger recognition of all the hard work our coaches and plyers have put into our program."

Austin Hough can be reached at austin.hough@goshennews.com or at 574-538-2360. Follow him on Twitter at @AustinHoughTGN.