SHABBONA – If Nolan Govig wasn’t suited up in an Indian Creek basketball jersey, he’d likely be out working on his family’s farm.
It was there where he became selfless, developing a never-ending work ethic that transferred over to the basketball court.
The Daily Chronicle 2017-18 Boys Basketball Player of the year did all he could for the Wolves this season, posting averages of 15.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
“I don’t go out in a game and try to put up a certain amount of points or get certain numbers,” Govig said. “I just try to do what my team needs me to do.”
Govig’s attitude stems back to the fourth grade, when his uncle passed away, which forced his family to move from Malta and take care of the farm. Govig remembers helping around with anything and everything.
Carrying heavy corn stalk bales and feeding the cattle was his favorite chore.
“Farm life is something I’ve always been around,” he said.
Basketball was another aspect that’s always been part of Govig’s life. He looked up to his older siblings play and remembers watching basketball games with his dad.
Govig grew up playing with a basketball hoop on his driveway in Malta, but he had to wait a few years before his family installed a new one on the farm. Eventually, he got a hoop set up on a gravel lot and continued to work on his game.
If Govig didn't move, he would've attended DeKalb High School. He said he believes he'd still be an impact player if he were playing for the Barbs and pointed out small school players can still make a name for themselves.
"This shows you don't need to be at the big school to be successful," Govig said. "If you put in the work, it's going to pay off one way or another."
The 6-foot-6 post player turned into an all-around stud for the Wolves this past season. He became adept at handling the point position and knowing when to attack the opposing defense.
Govig had 21 double-doubles in 29 games this season.
“If my stat line is there with the win – great,” he said. “But as long as we were winning games, that’s all that mattered to me.”
Govig helped Indian Creek win plenty of games, guiding the Wolves to a 23-6 record. His team fell short of its ultimate goal, losing to Milledgeville in the Class 1A Amboy Regional championship.
Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz is grateful for all of Govig’s contributions. He wraps up his Wolves’ career as the program leader in rebounds and assists.
“Nolan is extremely gifted, we are blessed to have him,” Piekarz said.
Despite the early early exit, Govig keeps his head high. He has aspirations to play college basketball and is currently receiving interest from Division III and NAIA programs.
“I wish as a team we would’ve went farther,” Govig said. “(The recognition) means a lot to me, but my success is more of a reflection of the team.
“If they’re not playing good defense or making the right pass, I’m not making those plays. It’s a reflection of them and how great they were this year.”
Daily Chronicle 2017-18 Boys Basketball Player of the Year
Nolan Govig, sr., G/F, Indian Creek
Isaiah Youngquist, soph., G, DeKalb – Youngquist was second on the Barbs with 9.3 points per game and had the team's best assist-to-turnover ratio. He averaged 2.8 dishes per game.
Nate Nesler, jr., G, Genoa-Kingston – He led the Cogs with 13.1 points per game, and also had a team-best 2.4 assists per game.
Cooper Larsen, G/F, soph., Indian Creek – In addition to making two all-tournament first teams, he averaged 12 points per game and shot 58 percent from the floor.
Blake Feiza, sr., C, Kaneland – Facing double and triple teams all year, Feiza averaged a team best 12.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He also shot 52 percent from the floor and 73 percent from the line.
Marcus Bobo, sr., C, DeKalb – Despite missing the final nine games with a broken foot, he led the Barbs with 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds.
Rhett Espe, sr., G, Kaneland
Griffin Hansen, jr., G, Genoa-Kingston
Ethan Heinrich, sr., G, Sycamore
Kyle Stuart, sr.,, F, Kaneland
Michael Vilet, sr., F, DeKalb
Honorable mention – Matt Montavon, sr., G, DeKalb; Mikey Albert, sr., G, DeKalb; Seth Misukanis, sr., F, Hinckley-Big Rock; Tate Sanderson, jr., G, Hinckley-Big Rock; Michael Trzynka, jr., F, Genoa-Kingston; Louis Faivre, sr., G, Indian Creek.
• Capsules compiled by Eddie Carifio