Northern Michigan University adds three transfers to Men’s Basketball
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University men’s basketball head coach Matt Majkrzak announced the signing of three transfers into his program on Friday. Student-athletes Justin Brookens, John Kerr, and Nick Wagner will join the Wildcats for the 2021-22 season.
Coach Majkrzak on the transfers: “It’s not every day you get to add multiple All-America and All-Conference players to your program. This group has talent and a proven track record of producing at the four-year level and are also perfect fits at NMU. These are three kids that live in the gym which is even more important. Justin and Nick are two of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around, and John has a desire to improve and work on his game that makes others take notice. These student-athletes are also poised to succeed in the classroom and are great people to be around that will make a positive impact in the Marquette community.”
Justin Brookens, a 5′9 G from Milwaukee, Wis., is a transfer from NCAA Division I Western Illinois. In his lone year at WIU, he appeared in all 22 games with seven starts. Brookens averaged 6.9 points per game. He recorded a career-high 37 points versus Eastern Illinois on December 12. The guard scored 10-plus points in six games and was also second on the team in assists. In 2019-2020, while at Iowa Lakes CC, he was named an NJCAA DII All-American and the ICCAC Co-Player of the Year. He averaged 20.1 points per game while shooting 48.8-percent from the floor and 51.7-percent from 3, which was good for second in the nation. In 2018-2019 at Bryant & Stratton College, he played for current NMU head coach Matt Majkrzak and averaged 21.7 points per game, 4.4 assists per game, and 3.5 rebounds per game while helping lead his team to a 25-8 record.
Coach Majkrzak on Brookens: “I loved previously coaching Justin at Bryant & Stratton. He made the coaching staff’s job a lot easier not only by scoring but also by the competitive spirit he brought to the floor every day. Scoring 37 points in an NCAA Division 1 game is no easy feat, and I think he has the ability to be that kind of game-changer night in and night out. He’s the hardest worker I have coached and his passion and love for the game of basketball is contagious.”
John Kerr, a 6′8 forward from Lake Villa, Ill., is a graduate transfer from St. Ambrose of the NAIA. For his efforts this past season, he was named to the NAIA Third Team All-America team and also First-Team All-CCAC. He averaged 19.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while shooting 56.1-percent from the field, 43.4-percent from three, and 82.5-percent from the free-throw line. Kerr also totaled 10 double-doubles on the season while helping St. Ambrose to a 15-6 record. The forward has scored 1,706 points and snagged 951 rebounds in his career. He is a four-time All-Conference selection and won the CCAC Freshman of the Year award for the 2017-2018 season.
Coach Majkrzak on Kerr: “John had a tremendous career at St. Ambrose and we were very lucky that he decided to spend his extra year at NMU. He is the only transfer in this group that I have not coached before, but my assistant Charlie (Wallrapp) has coached against him and made it clear this was a student-athlete we wanted. It became ever more apparent as we got to know him that he will not only add a huge boost to our scoring and rebounding but that he also has a competitive desire and work ethic that is clear from his accolades as an All-America honoree.”
Nick Wagner, a 6′4 guard from Galesville, Wis., is a graduate transfer from NCAA Division II Bemidji State. This past season he averaged 13.8 points per game while shooting 42.8-percent from the field and 35.6-percent from 3. He also averaged 2.6 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, and 2.3 made 3′s per game. He scored a career-high 32 points against Minnesota Duluth on February 12 and made a career-high eight 3′s against St. Cloud State on February 6. In 2019-2020, he was named NSIC All-Conference Honorable Mention, as he averaged 14.7 points per game and 2.96 made 3′s per game while shooting 41-percent from behind the arc. He ranked second in the NSIC in 3-point field goal percentage, third in 3-point field goals per game, and fourth in total 3-point field goals made.
Coach Majkrzak on Wagner: “Nick has been one of the best shooters in DII basketball over the course of the last two years. I coached him when he was in sixth grade, so have known him and his family for a long time. His competitiveness and desire to be great have set him apart. As much as everyone touts Nick’s three-point shooting ability, he’s is also a sneaky good athlete that can score from all three levels.”
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