CASPER – Recent Wheatland High School graduate Kade Preuit had one last chance to put on a high school uniform for basketball and showcase his skills under WHS head coach Mick Cochran.
Preuit was chosen to play in the prestigious North/South all-star game played at Casper College June 27. His high school coach was not only in attendance, but on the coaching staff for the south team.
The game turned out to be lopsided with a very strong north team winning 96-69, and Preuit was in double figures for the game, scoring 11 points.
“It was an honor to just be selected as a participant and it was a great experience for me,” Preuit said. “It was super fun to be playing with and against the best kids around the state and I obviously liked going through all of it with coach Cochran because he basically couldn’t get rid of me through high school because he was involved in every sport I did. I’ll miss him for sure next year. It was crazy to think that’d be my last high school game ever just can’t even wrap my head around it it’s just crazy. I think I performed all right; my shots weren’t falling so I just tried getting other things done on the court to try and help my team out.”
For Cochran, it was his second time coaching in this all-star game and to have a player he coached actually on the team meant the world to him.
“The north/south week was awesome,” Cochran said. “Working alongside Tagg Lain and Jim Shaffer was a great experience. There was great basketball discussion and we shared so many ideas. Between the three of us there was around 100 years of experience and over 1000 wins. The kids we worked with were great people. A real tribute to their coaches and parents, so well mannered and a joy to coach.”
Cochran always has a positive word to say about his players and his thoughts toward Preuit are no exception.
“Kade Preuit was All Conference and All State, two years in row, 3a east player of the year two years in a row, and now the 3a player of the year,” Cochran said. “It has been great working with him and watching him grow as a player and young man. He put a lot of time into basketball, and became a special talent. He led 3a in scoring and was fourth in rebounding in 2022 and scored well over 1200 career points. Being a player like Kade is very difficult. Jealousy and expectation run wild when in his situation. He handled all of this very well. He will leave WHS as one of the most prolific scorers and an all-around great person. We wish him all the best. Kade has left his mark on WHS basketball, he has set bar for our young players to strive for, as players and as solid young men.”
Although the outcome didn’t prove successful on the court for the south team, the lessons learned and friendships they formed were part of memories they would never forget.
“The north team was so talented and big,” Cochran said. “They played great basketball. We didn't have a true point guard, and that proved very difficult for us. Their size made things tough inside as well. They went 6'7, 6'5, 6'5 while our biggest was 6'2. They were just too much for us. It was great to get to be with Kade as he finished out high school basketball. I am sure he was disappointed in the week, but basketball was secondary to the new friendships he made and the experience. It was my second all-star game and an honor. The week is so fun and it’s nice to be surrounded by so much passion for the game. I would could coach that game anytime they ask me!”
As for Preuit, he is heading for Central Wyoming College where he received a scholarship to play basketball and he will be majoring in accounting.
In a tweet from Central Wyoming Men’s Basketball, it reads, “We are excited to welcome Kade Preuit to the #RustlerSquad! Kade comes to us from Wheatland high school in Wyoming. Kade was the Wyoming 3A player of the year. We are excited for Kade to add toughness and shooting to the #RustlerSquad.”