Graduate guard Kyle Poerschke became the second Comet in the history of UTD men’s basketball to play in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III All-Star game.
The All-Star game on March 18 featured top DIII senior players from across the nation, including another player from the American Southwestern Conference, Ty Prince of Mary-Hardin Baylor. Poerschke played under Coach David Hixon, a basketball legend with 826 career games won — the third most in DIII history — while Prince played under Coach Kevin Vande Streek. UTD men’s basketball coach Terry Butterfield selected Poerschke for the All-Star honor, and it is one of many honors Poerschke has received over the past year, including three ASC Player-of-the-Week awards and ASC First Team Newcomer of the Year.
All-Star games are usually rapid shooting competitions, but Hixon came into the game with a different mindset for his team, emphasizing defense and holding down the fort. This strategy kept the match neck-and-neck in the first half but didn’t pull through in the end. The opposing team, Team Streek, won primarily through offense with a final score of 116-112.
“It was really cool to see how quickly the guys could get along together who had never seen each other,” Poerschke said. “Ty Prince was in our conference, so I knew him, but most guys had never even really heard of each other or seen each other and were from all across the country. But they were really unselfish and just open to creating friendships in such a short amount of time. That was my favorite part about it.”
Despite the game’s seemingly competitive nature, Poerschke said he and all the other players duked it out for entertainment more than anything else. And while Team Hixon went for primarily defensive plays, Poerschke had fun with it and tried to land some 3-pointers. Poerschke said it was easy for him to get acclimated to the new team, even if they only had one practice together, and he compared the personalities of players he met to the personalities of his teammates back at UTD.
“It was a lot of similar types of guys,” Poerschke said. “That can be said about DIII players – it speaks to the quality of men and people that play DIII sports. You’d think at an All-Star game that there would be some people that are a little entitled and are really full of themselves. But that was not the case, they were just regular people. I could see myself being good friends with these guys and that just speaks to the quality of people at this level.”