ELBINGERODE, Germany – Former Bemidji State University men’s basketball forward Mason Walters (2009-12) has inked a professional contract in Germany. The Milton, Wis. native has signed to play with the Bodfeld Baskets Oberharz organization to extend his career beyond the collegiate ranks.
Walters follows former teammates James Ellisor (Russia) and Seth Haake (Germany) to make the jump to the professional level. He will own the lone roster spot for a non-European on the team and will wear number 23. Walters departs for Germany in August with the season beginning in September.
“It was exciting to say the least,” Walters said about signing the contract. “It’s something I have been working for this spring and through the summer and it felt rewarding to sign that deal.
“Obviously, I think I will have a few butterflies my first game. I’ve been doing some research to try and figure out what life is going be like over there. I’m excited to meet my new teammates, learn from them, learn the European style of play and hopefully get better as a player and enjoy my experience over there. I’m nervous, but more excited than anything.”
“With Mason Walters we get a very flexible forward who can dominate both the offensive and defensive board,” said manager Christian Shepherd in a translated quotation from the Bodfeld website. “In addition, he is a dangerous shooter from the outside. We are pleased that we were able to convince such a man of our concept.”
After averaging 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in his first three seasons, Walters thrived under the new system of first-year head coach Mike Boschee in 2012-13. He posted 14.1 points (16th in the NSIC) and 7.8 rebounds (2nd in the NSIC) per game as a senior to help guide the team to an 18-12 record. Walters started all 30 games, shot 48.0 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from 3-point range and recorded an 84.0 percent clip from the free throw line. He totaled 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament to help guide the Beavers to the championship game and earn All-NSIC Tournament Team honors. His performance in the postseason included a 21-point, 18-rebound performance in a road upset of then-No. 21 Winona State University.
With 12 points against visiting St. Cloud State University Feb. 23, 2013, Walters became the 17th player in program history to reach the 1,000 career points plateau. His 234 rebounds last season ranks fifth on BSU’s single season rebounding chart, while his 507 career rebounds is eighth all-time at Bemidji State.
“Mason improved a great deal in one year,” Boschee said. “He was just a back screen, pop guy a year ago. He evolved into a complete post player this year, hit 3-pointers and attacked the basket in a variety of ways. Mason ran the floor in transition as good as any big man in the league and was a relentless rebounder. He made himself into a pro and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
The Bodfeld Baskets organization is based in Elbingerode, which is about 167 miles southwest of Berlin, and competes in the North Division of the 1.Regionalliga League. Bodfeld finished tied for fourth in the division last season with a 12-10 record. The team’s head coach is Dainius Pleta
The Beavers posted an 18-12 overall record in 2012-13 to rank fifth all-time for wins in the 91-year history of the program. Bemidji State finished the 22-game NSIC schedule with a 13-9 mark to finish as the No. 3 seed in the NSIC North Division. Boschee set the BSU record for most wins by a first-year head coach, as the Beavers made a run to the NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament Championship – their first-ever appearance in the championship game. Bemidji State fell to No. 7 Minnesota State University, Mankato, 73-68 in the contest to fall just short of an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).