Elliott caps career with Academic All-American honors
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
Former Pacelli Catholic High School standout Isaac Elliott closed out his college basketball career by being named a NCAA Division III Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) senior guard finished his four-year career on the court by leading the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in scoring this season, while he became the first men’s basketball player from the conference to be named to the Academic All-American team since 1998.
“It was a great honor, and I was very proud of it,” said Elliott. “It just showed all of the hard work that I put in over four years in college, being in a tougher major like computer engineering, and then on top of that, the commitment of basketball.”
The 2014 Central Wisconsin Conference-8 (CWC-8) Player of the Year and a First Team Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division 4 All-State selection as a senior at Pacelli, Elliott saw playing time right away as a freshman for Stout in 2014-15, as he averaged 5.6 points off the bench.
The 6-2 shooting guard primarily came off the bench again as a sophomore and junior, as he finished third on the team in scoring as a sophomore with 7.3 points per game, and averaged 5.1 points as a junior in 2016-17.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming in as a freshman, and then seeing that our team was younger, and a lot of us younger guys got to see the court right away,” said Elliott. “And in the long run that experience helps, because by the time we were sophomores and juniors, we had more experience than maybe a lot of the younger guys on other teams, because most guys as freshmen and sophomore don’t really see the court right away.”
Elliott took over as Stout’s top player as a senior in 2017-18, as he finished fourth in the WIAC in made three-point field goals (2.36 per game), fifth in free-throw percentage (80.4 percent), sixth in three-point percentage (43.7 percent) and ninth in steals (1.2 per game).
He saved some of his best games for when he played against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), as he followed a 15-point performance his junior year in a 71-68 loss at Quandt Fieldhouse, by scoring 22 points as a senior in a 68-65 loss at home to UWSP Jan. 6, and then had 19 points in his final game at Quandt in an 80-63 loss at UWSP Feb. 10.
“That was always a great experience to come back to Point and play at home,” said Elliott. “I always had a lot of friends and family that would come watch, and there are a lot of memories in that gym.
“Growing up in Stevens Point, going to the summer camps, going to watch the Pointers as a little kid and seeing how good they were, and then sneaking into the Quandt to shoot around when it was open,” he said. “Those are a lot of great memories that I’ll cherish forever.”
Elliott scored 10 points or more in 21 of Stout’s 25 games this season and had 20 or more points nine times, including a career-high 28 points in a 91-70 loss on Senior Day against eventual National Runner-up UW-Oshkosh Feb. 17, after he scored a career-high 27 points the previous game against UW-La Crosse, as Stout finished its season 8-17 overall.
“I put in a lot of work this summer, and to come in as a senior, it was me and my buddy Sam Ortmann and Brandyn (Christman) and Adam (Mackey), we were the guys that had to lead the team,” said Elliott. “We went through a lot of personnel changes at the beginning of the season, a lot of adversity, but we brought it every day, and we just tried to show the young guys the ropes.
“It was a good season, and I’m proud of my teammates and the season we had,” he said. “Even though it wasn’t the greatest of results, it was still a lot of fun.”
Elliott went on to lead the conference in scoring with 16.6 points per game, with his 8th Grade Stevens Point Hoops Club teammate, UW-Eau Claire senior guard and former Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) standout George Diekleman, second in the WIAC in scoring with 16.2 points per game.
“George is a great player and he works his tail off, and it was cool to just see us two Point kids up at the top,” said Elliott, who was named Honorable Mention All-WIAC. “He put a lot of work in and I worked out before with him in the summer, he’s a great guy and he’s earned everything that he’s worked for.”
A Computer Engineering major with a minor in computer science and math, Elliott was named Second Team Academic All-American by the CoSIDA after he posted a 3.88 grade-point average, as he was the first player in program history to be named Academic All-American, and the first men’s basketball player from the WIAC to receive the honor since UW-Oshkosh’s Joe Imhoff in 1998.
Elliott graduated in May and lives in Waukesha after he landed a full-time job at Quad Graphics as a software developer, while he thanked his parents Mark and Jane, and brothers Ethan and Jake for their support over the years.
“My parents were my biggest fans from travel ball, all the way to college,” said Elliot. “They came to every game they could, so just a big shot out to them.”
Elliott said that keeping up with studies and playing Division III basketball was definitely a challenge and that you have to really be dedicated.
He said he learned how to prioritize school and sports, and worked a lot of hours each day in the summer to get better for the next season.
“In the end it was all worth it,” said Elliott. “We didn’t have the greatest of seasons, but I have a lot of great experiences and a lot of great relationships that I developed, just from playing DIII basketball at UW-Stout.
“I wouldn’t change it and I’m glad I did it,” he said. “One of my goals as a kid was to play college basketball, and I’m proud of what I accomplished.”