OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – During his interim season as UW-Oshkosh men’s basketball coach in 2018, Matt Lewis took a particularly close focus on recruiting standout players from the Fox Valley.
The FVA was coming off a banner spring, capturing state titles in Division 1 with a Tyrese Haliburton-led Oshkosh North squad and Division 2 with Jordan McCabe and Kaukauna.
But it was a player that would take over the mantle for those Northeast Wisconsin legends that would go on to become one of the top athletes in Titans men’s basketball history.
Levi Borchert, the 2019 FVA Player of the Year, committed to UWO on February 16, exactly one month before the Titans took home the first national title in program history.
Four years later, the All-American and reigning WIAC Player of the Year is looking to cap off his college career the way he entered it – as a part of a national championship program.
“Every team’s goal is to win and win at the highest level,” Borchert said of the opportunity to make a deep run with this Titans squad. “I mean it would mean a lot, but just the opportunity to get better after our next practice and win our next game is our biggest goal.”
The team-first focus is fitting for Borchert, who’s one of the best frontcourt passers in the WIAC and excels in his vision when he draws extra defenders.
Although Borchert is top scorer for the Titans, he’s a pass-first player.
“He never once asks for the basketball,” said Lewis, the fifth-year coach of the Titans program. “He doesn’t demand anything. He’s just incredibly selfless and, in all honesty, we try not to take it for granted that we’ve got a guy that good.”
Aside from the stats, what makes Borchert different from his peers in the often run-and-gun style of Division 3 basketball?
He takes pride in his old-school pedigree – a desire for contact and a starting point with his back to the basket – and builds his game on punishing defenders down low.
“A lot of the time I spend investing in my game outside of practice is in the weight room, so yeah, a lot of pride,” Borchert said.
The Titan senior has turned that into a double-double average in his final season in Oshkosh, and at this current pace, he’ll be in good position to garner more All-America honors, lead the Titans to another WIAC title, and perhaps another run at the national championship.
UWO returns to action Wednesday at home against UW-Eau Claire.