By Tori Wittenbrock
DE PERE – De Pere High School’s Will Hornseth just wrapped up his junior year of high school basketball in the 2023 season, also landing a commitment to play at the Division I level for the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).
“I have always loved sports, for as long as I can remember,” said Hornseth.
“My parents knew I would love sports as well, and looking at their heights, basketball seemed like a good option. They put me in a YMCA league when I was about five, and I have never looked back.”
Basketball is a significant part of Hornseth’s life, and he said that he has his parents to thank for getting him started in the sport. Yet, he said he looks up to them in other ways as well.
“I take a lot of inspiration from my parents being successful and happy in life. Not even just on a basketball level, but raising four kids and living life the right way,” said Hornseth.
“My family has been with me every step of the way and I am so thankful for that! Everyone in my family and close friends are very supportive in my decision. I think they are all excited for me to play at UNI and to cheer for a new team.”
Hornseth said that throughout all his years of playing basketball, he has learned a lot from each coach he has had, and is thankful to them all for helping develop his skills.
Hornseth said he is beyond excited for the journey ahead of him.
“I’m excited to get better and grow with people I know well and know have my best interests. I’m also excited for the family I will be entering with UNI men’s basketball. Hopefully it results in life long friendships and relationships.”
Although he is now committed, Hornseth said that the recruiting process was thrilling, but could also be very stressful at times.
“The process was something completely unique and crazy. It was definitely stressful at times, and could be overwhelming. Through the process though, I got to meet some great people and have some great experiences,” said Hornseth.
Even though Hornseth is unique in his style as a player, he said that he has always admired certain professional players and models his game — and even certain aspects of his life — after them.
“I really like Nikola Jokic. I love how he has found success playing the sport in his own way. I think his passing is incredible. I also value that he has other priorities outside of basketball like his family,” said Hornseth.
Hornseth has a bright future ahead of him in terms of his basketball career at UNI, but he said that there is one game he will never forget.
“The state championship game this last year was absolutely unforgettable. The experiences I got to have with some close friends and teammates was unbeatable. It was an incredible game and an incredible outcome,” said Hornseth.
The Redbirds played Arrowhead in the State Championship game in March, winning 69-49.
Hornseth said that this game has been his favorite basketball memory so far.
Basketball is his one true passion now, but Hornseth said that he has also dabbled in other athletic areas as well.
“I played soccer, football, baseball and currently do track as well. I think basketball just always made the most sense to me. I picked it up easily and just loved the dynamics of the game. There are always areas to improve and perfect!”
Hornseth said that staying focused and dedicated can sometimes be a struggle, but he tries his best to keep his head down and stay focused.
“Well for me, it’s a dedication to just improve every time I have the opportunity. It takes years of hard work, and you need to have grit and determination. I’m excited to continue to improve a lot and work on my craft. I will say it is much easier to work hard for something when you enjoy it,” said Hornseth.
After seeing the UNI campus for himself, Hornseth said he is elated to spend the next few years there.
“I have been on an unofficial and official visit. I’m looking forward to extending my education further and hopefully meeting lifelong friends.”