During a preseason workout before his first year of college basketball even started, Concordia University St. Paul freshman, and Hancock native, Noah Kannegiesser broke his hand.

Justin Oakman Photography
Justin Oakman Photography
"I broke my right hand during a workout in September," Kannegiesser said. "I had a few healing setbacks, but the (CSP) training staff did a great job of helping me get my hand back to full strength."

Despite being cleared for the season-opening game, Kannegiesser still struggled mentally and physically.

"It was a challenge... even when I got cleared, I still had a lot of pain in my hand and I wasn't able to really do the things I normally do on the court. My confidence wasn't very high at the time," Kannegiesser said.

Kannegiesser, who led the state in scoring his senior season at Hancock with 35.9 points per game, went 1-for-10 from the floor in the first six games of his college career as a Golden Bear.

"It was a combination of all three (injury, nerves and adjusting to the speed of college ball)... All of those shots were shots I know I can make," Kannegiesser said.

He had a chance to find his rhythm before semester break in December. He played a season high 23 minutes against Presentation College of Aberdeen, South Dakota on Dec. 18.

"We had an injury to one of our guards and the coaches trusted me to contribute and help the team win," Kannegiesser said of the extra playing time. He averaged seven minutes of playing time prior to the game against Presentation.

He went 4-for-7 from the floor for his then season high 10 points to help the Bears win 84-80.

"Confidence in myself from the work I put in and confidence from my coaches and teammates," Kannegiesser said of the turnaround. "Once I got into a rhythm, the nerves went away and I just played and had fun with it."

"Noah has done a terrific job adjusting to the college level. His injury set him back significantly, but his future in our program is exciting," CSP head coach Joseph James said

Kannegiesser has since went 37 percent from the floor in games he has played over 11 minutes. He is averaging 11.9 minutes and 3.9 points per game. He had a career high 15 points against the University Sioux Falls Jan. 12.

"It's a process adjusting to the speed and physicality of the game," Kannegiesser said. "In high school, I was the focal point of the offense and my role (with CSP) is to provide a spark off the bench, be aggressive, knock down shots when the opportunity comes, and do what I can to help us win. It's an adjustment, but I feel everyday I'm adjusting more and more to my role with the team."

Justin Oakman Photography
Justin Oakman Photography
James sees the work Kannegiesser is putting in every day and is excited for his future in the program.

"Our expectations for Noah are extremely high and his time will come as he eventually grows and learns in our program. He's one of the hardest workers and determined competitors I've been around in my 17 years. I love the kid," James said.

The Golden Bears closed out the season 9-20 overall after an opening round loss at Northern State in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Aberdeen.