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Will Scherer: from cut to college

Senior Will Scherer was cut from the Gonzaga freshman basketball team, eventually making the varsity team. Scherer will be continuing his career at Amherst College. (Photo Credit: Will Scherer)
Senior Will Scherer was cut from the Gonzaga freshman basketball team, eventually making the varsity team. Scherer will be continuing his career at Amherst College. (Photo Credit: Will Scherer)
By Cole Peverall –

Many individuals would never think of giving it a second shot after being cut from the basketball team their freshman year of high school. Many of us know the story of Michael Jordan who was cut from his high school varsity team his sophomore year of high school and then went on to be one of, if not the greatest, basketball player of all time.

While many high school students use that story as a glimmer of hope, Will Scherer, senior, is living the Michael Jordan story at Gonzaga.

“When basketball tryouts rolled around, I gave it a try, and I didn’t make it past the first round of cuts. I was fully expecting my name to be on the list of kids who were moving on because I was six foot one, and thought I was decent at basketball,” Scherer said.

After he was cut, Scherer participated in winter crew workouts with the intent of rowing in the spring. However, he eventually felt that he wanted to play lacrosse in the spring. Growing up, Scherer’s favorite sport was always lacrosse, and it remained so until his sophomore year of high school. Scherer played both freshman and junior varsity Lacrosse and began to hit his growth spurt during his freshman season.

During the summer after freshman year, Scherer planned to give another run at basketball after he hit his growth spurt. He went on to play with the Gonzaga summer basketball team and started to focus the majority of his time on basketball. Scherer made the JV basketball team his sophomore year but did not see much court time; he continued to work on his game and ended up making the varsity team his junior year.

“It was an incredible feeling when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to be there. It did help that I was six foot nine, but I wasn’t recruited by Coach Turner or playing basketball at a high level. I was enjoying Gonzaga and playing basketball sometimes; then, I just really started to lock in,” Scherer said.

When Scherer made the varsity team, his first thought was all of the gear the varsity team receives. He began to focus on his game and what he would need to add to become a better player and not look too far forward in the future about what he would be doing in a year or two but focusing on how he could impact the team.

“Early on, I wasn’t thinking about playing college basketball, even with seeing all of the other guys getting college offers and thinking ‘that’s going to be me soon.’ […] I wasn’t set on anything.”

Over the summer of 2020, Scherer began talking to a number of different colleges, ultimately deciding on Amherst College in October 2020.

Scherer plans to take basketball as far as he can, hopefully playing professionally after Amherst as long as he still loves the game. 

“As someone who didn’t make the freshman team, it shows tremendous dedication to the sport. His game comes from what he puts into and his hard work to get better on all aspects of the game,” said JV teammate Jack Wood, senior.

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