WALWORTH, Wis. — Gus Foster made a little history Wednesday night.
Playing against Badger, the Big Foot junior forward became the first Chief in school history to score his 1,000th career point before his senior season.
The basket, which came early in the second half, accounted for two of his 30 points in Big Foot's win.
The Chiefs program has fallen on hard times of late, but the arrow is pointed solidly up, thanks in large part to Foster's performance. He's second in the Rock Valley Conference in scoring at 24.7 points per game, and leads the loop in rebounding at 11.6 per contest.
Big Foot is 7-15, but have a myriad of close losses that accentuate the program's improvement.
Foster said being a part of the turnaround has been rewarding.
"Last year we were going to game and just getting blown out by 20, 30 points or more," Foster said. "This year you can feel the forward momentum in the locker room. It's an entirely different atmosphere. You look at our games against East Troy and Edgerton last year, and we'd lose by 40 or 50. This year, we've been within six or nine points against them going into halftime, and it just feels so much better."
Foster said a good deal of credit goes to coach Hunter Price.
"He's an amazing coach," Foster said. "He loves the game of basketball so much, and we all get along so we well with him. All of us would run through a wall for him. He makes you want to play super hard, and I'm not saying past coaches haven't, but when you have motivated players, and a coach that's totally into it, that's how programs can turn around. We know we aren't the best shooters, we aren't the biggest team. But one thing we pride ourselves on is playing extremely hard every night."
Foster said although the team has just two regular season games remaining, one big goal remains on the table.
"We are still taking things one game at a time, but if we can manage to get a win in the playoffs, that would be huge for us," Foster said. "Winning a playoff game is really hard to do. We won one my freshman year, but before that I don't know how long it had been. If you just look at our record, that doesn't show the story of our improvement, but if we can advance a level in the playoffs, that would show people how far we've come."
Foster's statistics speak for themselves. But that's now what he's focused on.
"This year, I'm just trying to lead the team the best way I can," Foster said. "The main way I do that is by hustling as much as I can. I know that when I was a freshman, I would do what the older kids would do, and I have to make sure that when people look at me, they know that I know all the plays and that I'm playing as hard as possible. Every game I play, I try to leave everything on the floor."
Long-term goals are always in the back of Foster's mind as well. Playing travel ball for the Wisconsin Swing has given Foster an excellent opportunity to play with and against premier players.
"I definitely want to play college basketball," Foster said. "Everyone's dream is to play Division 1, and that's my dream, too. So why not aim for that? If I get there, it's a dream come true. If I come up short, in the long run, striving for that still made me the best player I can be."