Belle Plaine’s DeMeulenaere reaches 1,000 points without attempting a 3-pointer

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 11:46 PM CST
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BELLE PLAINE, Iowa (KCRG) -You could say Belle Plaine senior center Ben DeMeulenaere’s game is old school.

“I think it’s a small badge of honor for him,” said boys basketball head coach Justin Northrop.

His style dates back to the early 80′s before there was even a three point line. In their game against Montezuma, DeMeulenaere surpassed the 1,000 point milestone.

“I didn’t really have any idea up until coach told me about it, but I think it’s a really cool milestone,” said DeMeulenaere. “It’s something cool to have especially with these guys and my former teammates. It definitely wouldn’t have happened without them or my coach, so a lot of props goes to them.

DeMeulenaere isn’t one for attention, but his teammates made sure he was recognized for the accomplishment. One of his teammates made him a sign and presented it to him during a practice earlier this week.

What’s fascinating about DeMeulenaere reaching 1,000 career points, is that he did it without ever making a three point shot. In fact, he has never attempted one in a game.

“To me, to achieve that all in the paint, probably getting banged around a lot, that’s pretty big,” said Northrop. “That’s harder to do than shooting it from distance.”

“Even when I do catch the ball on the outside, my first instinct when I’m playing basketball is to go to the basket,” explained DeMeulenaere. “Either get fouled, make the basket or shoot two free throws. I have that mentality of running in, get to where I know I’m really comfortable and shooting the basketball.”

He jokes that two feet around the basket is the most range in his game.

“Coming into my freshman year, my jump shot is probably the ugliest thing you’ll ever see. For me, in order to get minutes as a freshman, I’m trying to get in the game, get minutes and score points. Do whatever to help the team. As a freshman, I knew I couldn’t shoot the ball well, so getting within the basket, get to where I can shoot the ball with two feet and then it kind of just developed through my high school years.”

Coupled with coach’s traditional style of offense, getting it down low to Mr. Reliable is what works for the Plainsmen.

“He’s all about getting down there and trying to compete with whoever is trying to guard him. It’s rough under there and that’s just what he likes,” said Northrop.

At this point in his career, it’s something that’s become a novelty.

“I mean I’ll go out, I’ll shoot a practice, but I just haven’t gotten to that in a game yet. I don’t know if I will, but coach would love to see me try and shoot one. We’ll see if that happens,” said DeMeulenaere.

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