GopherHole: You had a very good weekend playing in the Battle of The Lakes. How pleased were you with how well you played, individually?
B.J. Omot: I was pretty pleased, because the other weekends, I wasn’t as aggressive as I was this past weekend. I shot the ball pretty consistent this weekend. I was more aggressive, more like me. Like how I played during the high school season and I was comfortable with it.
GopherHole: How about the team? You were 3-1 this past weekend. How pleased were you with how well you played?
B.J. Omot: We played really well. The first game, obviously, we lost off a game-winner, but then we bounced back. Played more aggressive. Shared the ball more. Played better defense. We just looked good out there.
GopherHole: You guys have played well, but I know that is tough because you have teammates from all over the area, so it makes it tough to practice. Does that make it a little tougher than you would like it at times?
B.J. Omot: It does make it a little tougher, but we do a lot of team bonding. We talk with each other a lot. We hang a lot and we just have good bond off the court, too, so that makes it better on the court.
GopherHole: How about your junior season? How pleased were you with how things went?
B.J. Omot: I was really pleased. I averaged 21 points. That’s second most in school history at Mankato East for the boy’s, so I was very pleased.
GopherHole: How about your team’s performance?
B.J. Omot: Our team performance was pretty good. We went 13-4. Lost a couple of games. We could have won those games, but then we bounced back the next games and won those games. Sections, I didn’t get to play and me and four others didn’t get to play, so it was a bummer. We lost that game, but we’ll bounced back next year, for sure.
GopherHole: What was the reason for that?
B.J. Omot: A kid on our team tested positive for COVID.
GopherHole: Was that frustrating to know that it could have been a lot different?
B.J. Omot: It was really frustrating because two years ago, we didn’t have this problem. COVID wasn’t here. That’s the way life goes now. COVID.
GopherHole: How is that dealing with everything going on in the world and trying to go to school and play basketball. How hard is it compared to before?
B.J. Omot: It is very hard, because everything is different. You just have to move differently now. You have to make decision differently. You don’t want to be around a lot of people without masks and stuff. You just got to be aware of everything.
GopherHole: Does that make you appreciate the “good old days?”
B.J. Omot: Oh, yes. I really miss the good old days. I want to go back to them, for sure.
GopherHole: You picked up an offer from Providence last week. How many offers are you up to right now?
B.J. Omot: I have five offers all together. I’ve got Western Illinois, Bryant University, Cal Poly, University of St. Thomas and Providence.
GopherHole: What other schools are you hearing from besides those five?
B.J. Omot: I’m hearing from Iowa, Iowa State, SDSU, NSDU, Butler University, Nebraska-Omaha. Minnesota coaches followed me the other day, so I’m pretty sure that they are going to hit me up soon
GopherHole: Where is your family from originally?
B.J. Omot: My mom and my dad, they are from South Sudan. They came here in 1998, migrated here and I was born here.
GopherHole: Knowing what they had to go through to get here, does that make you appreciate things more, in terms of the classroom and your basketball, to work hard?
B.J. Omot: It does make me appreciate it. It makes me more motivated because they worked hard to get over to America, so I am going to work hard on the court and in the classroom to make them happy.
GopherHole: Obviously, you have some good opportunities, college-wise. What will it mean to play Division I basketball?
B.J. Omot: It will really mean a lot, because I have been looking forward to this my whole life. I have been playing basketball my whole life, so it is really a dream of mine, for sure.
GopherHole: Has your recruitment picked up a lot since the end of the season?
B.J. Omot: It has. Ever since AAU started, it has really picked up a lot. My phone has been more busy. I have calls from colleges every day. Texts from every day, so it’s been pretty busy lately.
GopherHole: Do you like that though or are you starting to see how it can get to be a little bit overwhelming at times?
B.J. Omot: I like it, but sometimes I’m at different places, like I’m busy and my phone keeps blowing up, so I can’t answer it, so it is kind of frustrating. But, it is what it is.
GopherHole: It is different because you can’t visit schools like you could in the past, but what are going to be the main factors that will make you pick Schools A over School B or C?
B.J. Omot: For sure, I’m going to look at the academic program. I want to see what kind of schools have good academic programs. My relationship with the coaches. See how much they love me and stuff. A good basketball program, I guess.
GopherHole: It looks like you have grown a little even since last year. What are you up to height and weight-wise?
B.J. Omot: I’m at 6-7 1/2, but I just say 6-8. I think I grew an inch and a half since last year. I’m 185. I gained ten pounds over the offseason from last year to AAU. I am still getting in the weight room every day. I want to get to at least 195 before next year’s season, so I’ll be in the weight room a lot this summer.
GopherHole: What things are you really working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?
B.J. Omot: Working on my shot. I want to be a more consistent shooter. I want to have better handles, because I want to be a big guard, for sure and moving my feet defensively quicker, because I am going to guarding guards in college. Those are the main things that I want to work on.
GopherHole: Do you think that is one of your strengths is that because of your size, but you can play more than one or two positions?
B.J. Omot: Yes. I think my best game is being versatile. I could guard different positions, like 1 through 4. I can score against the 1 through 4.
GopherHole: You mentioned the Gophers and that you may start hearing from them a little bit more now. What would it mean to hear from the homestate school?
B.J. Omot: It will really mean a lot because if they offer me, it would be very pleasing, because I can have the thought that you can stay home and play college basketball and still see your family, not that far away, so that would be pretty pleasing.
GopherHole: Do you watch a lot of college basketball?
B.J. Omot: I do watch a lot of college basketball.
GopherHole: Are there certain teams you watch or do you watch certain players?
B.J. Omot: I watch the Gophers, obviously and I watch the top players and teams, like Oklahoma State. I really like watching Cade Cunningham play. He is a really good player. Gonzaga, obviously. Jalen Suggs. Minnesota boy, so it is pretty good watching those schools play.
GopherHole: Do you try to take some stuff from their game and incorporate it into your game?
B.J. Omot: Yes. Cade Cunningham. I really watch how he plays. I learn stuff from him because I think I look and play the same as him. He is a point guard and I am a 2 or 3, but I still pick up moves from him.