BROOKINGS, S.D. – Think your kids aren’t looking up to you and watching your everyday actions at home, work or while watching athletics?
Even one of the top scorers in college basketball history saw the sacrifices his parents made for him and his sister.
South Dakota State senior Mike Daum – who currently sits in the top-25 NCAA all-time scoring chart – says his mom, Michele, basically placed a basketball in his hands the day he was born.
Growing up in Kimball in Nebraska’s panhandle, Mike would spend countless hours shooting and rebounding with his mom at the high school gym and at a hoop in the family’s concrete driveway.
Mike’s dad, Mitch, was working even harder to provide for him and his sister, Danika.
“I think more than anything I saw how hard they worked rather than them really telling me stuff. I saw how hard they worked. I saw the sacrifices my mom and dad made. That was kind of the biggest thing. On top of that, how humble my family is and how humble my family is able to keep me.”
Michele was a 6’2″ power forward at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s one of the greatest players in Cowboys history, holding records for all-time scoring and rebounding. She went onto play pro basketball in Europe and Australia.
Mitch played tight end for the Wyoming football team. The 6’5″, 250-pounder caught 20 passes during his senior season in 1985. He pursued an NFL career as an undrafted free agent and had stints with the Seattle Seahawks in 1986 and the Houston Oilers in 1987.
With kids now looking up to him, Daum understands his impact is more than on the court – it’s in his community and across the country.
“I’ve got to meet countless great families. Take tons of pictures with kids. Sign as many autographs as my hand can handle. It’s awesome for me. I’m just so thankful that those kids look up to me. I know when I was younger I was always looking for role models and people look up too. I just hope I’m being that role to a lot of those kids.”
The 6’9″ forward ranks seventh in the country in total offense this season, scoring 24.2 points per game.
Basketball fans in Nebraska will get an opportunity to watch Daum play in Omaha for the final time in his college career. South Dakota State plays the University of Nebraska-Omaha at Baxter Arena on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.
Listen to Mike Daum’s full conversation during “The Burncast” at 9 a.m. CT Sunday on B103 (103.1 FM in southeast Nebraska or b103.fm) and Otoe County Country (1600 AM, 105.5 FM or ncn21.com).
Follow Hunter on Twitter: @TheBurnRadio