Smoldt named Mr. Basketball of INA All-State Team

Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Joe Smoldt was named Mr. Basketball by the Iowa Newspaper Association. (Jake Ryder photo)

   Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Joe Smoldt was named Mr. Basketball as part of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s All-State Team released on Tuesday.

   Smoldt was a first-team selection for the Class 1A squad, with Nathan Karsjens of AGWSR a second-team pick and Dike-New Hartford’s Ben Latusek on Class 2A’s second team.

   In his final season with the Rebels, Smoldt averaged 29.8 points per game with 4.7 rebounds per game, 143 assists, 77 steals and a 1A leading 109 3-pointers. A three-time all-state selection, he was also the NICL West’s Outstanding Player of the Year and the captain of the 1A All-State Tournament Team for the third consecutive season as the Rebels finished as 1A state runners-up, with finishes of 1st, 4th and 2nd in Smoldt's final three years with the Rebels.

   Smoldt is signed with Upper Iowa University’s men’s basketball team, coached by Brooks McKowen, a fellow Mr. Basketball award recipient back in 2003.

   Karsjens, after missing the first two games of the season with a hand injury, returned to average 18 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Cougars. He also led the team with 29 blocked shots. AGWSR fell in a district semifinal matchup with Wapsie Valley. Karsjens has signed to play football at Western Illinois.

   Latusek led the Wolverines with 12.2 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per contest and added 68 total assists and a team-high 24 blocked shots. Dike-New Hartford reached the substate final before falling to Cascade. Latusek will be a preferred walk-on for Iowa State University’s football program.

   The complete teams are available at