MADISON, Wis. — In late March, former Neenah basketball standout Max Klesmit announced that he was entering the transfer portal.
In his sophomore season the guard averaged nearly 15 points per game at Wofford and with three years of eligibility left, this past weekend Klesmit announced he was heading to Wisconsin.
“It is surreal but at the end of the day, you’ve earned it – I think I've earned this and I can't wait to get back up there and get to playing with them,” he said.
A big reason he decided to leave Wofford and enter the transfer portal was to find a school that was close home.
“It was a little hard for me, being 13 hours away from home,” he said. “Not really having much family ever at games. Not having your parents, your brother, your sister or grandparents there to watch you like you’re kind of used to.”
Once Klesmit entered the portal about 30 teams bombarded him with interest. In mid-April he narrowed his list down to four. Wisconsin wasn’t a team that made the list, but stayed in contact and offered Klesmit the chance to come to the school to visit.
“I felt like I owed that to myself to go visit and everything,” he said. “Obviously, fell in love with it being on the visit there. (I) had the gut instinct and gut feeling that was the place for me.”
Two key pieces have departed the Badgers program, specifically in the backcourt. Badgers head coach Greg Gard and his coaching staff feel like Klesmit could step in and help fill their shoes.
“With Brad Davidson graduating, Johnny Davis is going to get drafted, they had a spot there that they needed to fill and role that they were looking for and they kind of laid it out that they needed a guy with experience,” Klesmit said.
He’s excited to have his family so close so that they can watch him play and as for what badger fans can expect from their new guard – a leader with a desire to win.
“Someone can say they’re going to come in and average 17 points and put a number on themselves. I'm going to try to bring as many wins as possible to UW. At the end of the day try to get back to that final four and that national championship. Whatever it takes to win and that’s what I'm going to try bring,” Klesmit said