Germantown Badgers fans cheer for hometown player Zak Showalter in Sweet 16

Wisconsin takes on Florida in Sweet 16
Posted at 7:02 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 13:50:14-04

If you talk to anyone in Germantown about Wisconsin Basketball, you'll probably hear one name: Zak Showalter.

The Badger grew up in the area, attending Germantown High School. Now he and his team are gearing up for the Sweet Sixteen.

"It's really cool to see someone you've known kinda your whole life do something so great," said Ethan Meyer, who plays currently on the Germantown High Basketball team.

He said he and his teammates look up to Showalter as a player and leader.

"He's definitely a very good defender and I think if we end up playing defense like him, we'll win a lot of games," Meyer said. "I think that hardworking attitude he brings, if you have that everyday you're going to get a lot better."

It's not just basketball players who know who Showalter is, it seems the whole school is talking about him.

"I'm pretty sure at least 98 percent of the school knows who he is and what he's done," said Jarred Wolfe, a Germantown High senior.

But Showalter's biggest fan is actually the basketball coach at nearby Menomonee Falls High School, his dad Steve Showalter.

"You see him on TV and it seems like it's real grown men playing basketball and then you go there and it's your son out there," Steve said. "It's a totally different thing but it's also so cool to see it in person."

Steve coached his son when Zak played at Germantown. But after many years of coaching, Steve said he's taken on more of a traditional parent role at the games.

"By now, I don't give him a lot of advice anymore," said Steve. "He's a grown man now, he understands what the game is all about, he's been well coached for five years that he's been at Wisconsin and now it's more him telling me to calm down and relax."

Steve said playing for Wisconsin was always Zak's dream.

"He's made me so proud the way he plays out there," said Steve. "People can see his work ethic and what it means to be a Badger. He just loves competing for his home state, his home school."

Zak is a fifth year senior in Wisconsin and has expressed interested in playing basketball in another country after graduation. His dad said Zak is double majoring in Business Finance and Risk Management.

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