Camanche junior Caleb Delzell wasn't sure what his role was going to be when he started basketball. He knew he loved the game, but wasn't sure where he fit in.
That's alright, though. As his career progressed he's become a very specific kind of player for the Indians: a utility man.
"His role has changed every year with our program and he's embraced it every time," Camanche head coach Josh Davis said. "He can do so many things. In the River Valley North, he's top five in about every category. A kid that can do that, at his size."
He really does do it all for the No. 8 Indians. He averages 14.5 points a game with a mix of a nice shooting touch and aggressive drives down the middle. His 6'7 athletic frame helps him with that.
He didn't know that was going to be the case, though. As a freshman he was the point guard for the junior varsity, sporting a shorter frame and an unknown identity. Then he grew five inches.
That's left him in some new positions. He plays the high-post for the most part, a difficult position.
"I have to use my height in different ways now. Before I was a strict shooter and now I find myself inside more," Delzell said.
At the elbow, he looks at his options. According to Delzell, his first thought when getting the ball is always to pass. He has the 6'8 Calvin Ottens on the block for that. Then he looks to drive or score.
"I don't score that much from there, maybe a couple times a game," Delzell said. "It's a little different game."
After that, more options are opened up. In the corner he can find Carson Seeser or Cam Soenksen to drop in a quick three or kick it out and restart the offense. It's probably why he leads the team with a whopping 93 assists, the top number in the River Valley North.
"It's being patient," Delzell said. "High-post, you feel like you're surrounded my everyone on the court once you catch it. I've had to be patient in there with the ball, be strong with it, and run with it."
Finally, it gives him one more opportunity on offense. He has the position to see the shot and crash the boards on whatever side he needs. He has 43 offensive rebounds this season, also one of the top spots in the conference.
Defensively, he's speedy for his size. He can guard on the post or perimeter and he is second on the team in steals only to Cam Soenksen. He averages 9.4 rebounds a game, a team-high, and has notched 10 double doubles this year alone between scoring, assists and rebounds.
Don't forget, he's just a junior.
He definitely plays with a passion for the game, but one that he keeps in check. A lot of the athletes on the state-ranked Camanche boys varsity team play with a lot of high running emotions. While it's a great quality, Delzell tends to add a sense of calm and collected to tense situations. He's a leader on the team, and mature maybe beyond his experience.
"I try to be a leader and keep people in it," Delzell said. "Some people get out of hand at times and I want to be the guy who says we got this. I have my moments, too. I'm just trying to be a leader out there for my team."
Head coach Josh Davis states that he is one of the ones who is in the gym early and has always worked for what he's gotten. With that quality and his natural talent, the end of the season is going to be an exciting one for the Indians. Not to look too far ahead, but it also make the prospect of Delzell's senior year even more exciting.