There is a gap of some 20 years between them age wise, but the top two scorers in Evergreen basketball history will be together for the 2020-21 season. After his initial college choice closed its doors, Viking standout Mason Loeffler has chosen to play his college ball for Brooks Miller at Trine University.
Loeffler first picked Division II Urbana, and signed a letter of intent to attend and play there.
However, after two years of declining enrollment — a 64% drop to be exact — Urbana closed up leaving the second leading scorer in Evergreen history looking for another school.
Earlier this month, the D-III third team All-Ohio player made his choice to play for Miller, who in his day led the Vikings to their first two regional berths in 1998 and 2000, while amassing over 1,550 points to top the Evergreen career scoring charts.
“The relationship I’ve had with Mason over the last few years, it’s just unique because of his role he had on the team. (Evergreen coach) Jerry (Keifer) and I talk probably five times a week and we have for 20 years. I was so happy for what he and his team did this year for the community and the program, reaching the Elite 8 and winning 25 games,” expressed Miller.
“I’ve always been close to the program and recognized Mason’s ability and that he was special.
“I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to continue with his career with us and work with him.”
Miller also explained that Loeffler’s upside as an athlete will be a big plus.
“He has a very unique athleticism for the type of player he is and I still think he’s only scratching the surface of how good he can be,” Loeffler’s future coach said. “He can do some things that most guys can’t do, not only in the NWOAL but at our level here at Division III.”
Miller compares Loeffler to another Evergreen standout who also played for him at Trine.
“He reminds me a lot of Tyler Good; I don’t think they are very dissimilar,” said Miller. “The difference was that Tyler was on a different type of team in high school and he developed a couple years later. With us he played behind a guy that was an All-American and the MVP of our league, and then became an All-league player as a junior. The reason he was able to grow was that he was so athletic and I think that Mason has the same traits.”
Loeffler says that Trine was always high on his list even though he initially made a different choice.
“Trine was my second option actually,” he said. “When Urbana closed I knew it would be a good place for me. I know coach Miller, I’ve known him for a long time, I feel he’s a good coach and I wanted to play for him.”
The 6’4” guard finished 11 points shy of Miller’s mark when the Vikings, as well as the rest of the those left in the OHSAA regionals, were forced to shut down in mid-March.
He says there will be an adjustment from his game in high school to the college level.
“I’ll have to gain some weight and I’ll be behind guys that have been there for two or three years already so I’ll have to work for my spot so nothing is guaranteed. I’ll have to go in there and work.”