NORTHROP -- Scoring on the basketball court has always seemed to come easy for 6-foot-2 Truman/Martin Luther senior forward Sam Geistfeld.
In addition to his natural scoring abilities, years of hard work have helped Geistfeld to surpass the 1,000 career points milestone.
"Going into the season I thought I might be close to reaching it, but I had no idea how many points I needed or where I was at," said Geistfeld.
ON?HIS HEELS — Truman/Martin Luther forward Sam Geistfeld (right) dribbles away from St. James’ Jordan Sandmeyer during nonconference basketball action on Dec. 5 in Northrop. Geistfeld cleared the 1,000-point career scoring plateau on Jan. 7 in St. Clair. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
The BluejayKnight senior eclipsed the mark, needing to score just three points, against the Cyclones on Jan. 7 in St. Clair.
Geistfeld scored a double-double that night with 20 points and 12 rebounds, in addition to making three steals and doling out three assists.
"I think scoring was always something that just came natural to Sam," said Truman/Martin Luther head coach Brian Borkenhagen. "As a coach, sometimes you have players who you work with, to learn those skills. For him, that was never a problem."
The two-time Sentinel All-Area selection and three-year starter has scored 1,055 points for a 16.2 points per game average throughout his 65-game career.
Incredibly, he has scored at least 15 points in every game he has played and has six career double-doubles.
"Sam is a very easy kid to coach. He does everything we ask him to and goes about it the right way," said Borkenhagen. "He isn't the most verbal guy, but he works very hard and leads by his example."
In addition to his contributions in scoring and rebounding, Geistfeld also has distributed 27 assists, made 29 steals and recorded 18 blocks so far this season.
"As a team, we play a lot of zone defense, because with Sam and Alex (Weihe) in the paint, we know they are going to block a lot of shots," said Borkenhagen. "Defensively, that helps us a lot, but Sam is always a big contributer on both ends of the floor."
Geistfeld is shooting 52.8 percent from the floor this season - including 63.3 percent inside the arc - which tops his career shooting percentage of 46.9 percent.
"I've worked a lot more on my outside shooting this season," said Geistfeld. "But I wasn't always the tallest kid. When I was younger I played some guard and so I think that's why I am able to drive and score or do things other post players can't."
This season, Geistfeld has scored 256 points, including a career-high 36 on Jan. 2 at Sleepy Eye-St. Mary's, for a 21.3-point per game average to go along with 145 rebounds for an 11.3 boards pace.
The attention that the towering senior receives from opponents' defenses also has helped get his teammates more scoring chances.
"I think on average as a team, we take about 60 shots per game, and Sam ends up taking between 10-15 shots," said Borkenhagen. "So even though he doesn't take a high percentage of our shots, he makes almost all of his each night. But he also does a good job of getting his teammates the ball."
The BluejayKnights will surely miss Geistfeld's offensive production next season, but with 10 games yet to be played, the senior is looking forward to seeing how the team finishes the 2013-14 campaign.
"To me, scoring 1,000 points is great, but I'll do whatever I need to for the team to win," said Geistfeld. "It's all about what the team needs me to do to try and win. But reaching 1,000 was pretty cool."