BCLUW’s Ubben chooses Northwestern basketball

Northwestern College wasn’t on BCLUW senior Conner Ubben’s radar for most of his high school athletic career.

In fact, he even joked with his mom Darla – a Northwestern alum – about potentially visiting the school’s campus with no real intentions to do so.

But when Ubben finally did drive into Orange City and onto the Northwestern College campus, he immediately fell in love. And there was not really much about the school that he didn’t love at that point.

“I really loved it when I visited, but I didn’t want to tell my mom,” said the Comet multi-sport athlete. “I finally did tell her that I really liked the school.”

Ubben ended up making more than one visit to campus and Sunday he signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Red Raiders.

“I really liked that Northwestern is a Christian College,” said Ubben, who averaged a team-high 16 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the Comets this past season. “Everything up there is super nice and not old and worn down, too. Plus, coach (Kris) Korver is a super nice guy.”

Ubben chose to play for his mom’s alma mater. But his dad Eugene’s alma mater Central College also was in the mix as was Simpson College.

“I really liked Simpson and they had the major that I wanted,” said Ubben. “Central did not have my major but I know some of the players on that team.”

Northwestern is an NAIA Division II school that plays in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The Red Raiders were ranked for a good portion of last season but finished 14-17 overall and 7-13 in the GPAC.

“Conner has experienced a great deal of success in a number of sports throughout his high school career,” said Northwestern coach Kris Korver. “He is a hard worker who has been a leader on his teams, both on and off the court. We are excited that Conner has chosen to become a Red Raider and be part of our basketball program.”

The fact that Ubben was athletically active at BCLUW didn’t help with his decision. He played quarterback on the football team and is one of the Comets’ best pitchers and infielders on the baseball team.

It was always his goal to pursue athletics at the collegiate level, but he really had no idea which sport he wanted to play … until after his junior season in basketball.

“I had a pretty good year and I became one of the team leaders,” remembered Ubben. “I think I realized it then that I wanted to play basketball.”

Ubben, who also competes on the Comet track and field team, earned first-team all-North Iowa Cedar League West Division basketball honors during his junior and senior seasons and was an all-conference selection in baseball and an all-district pick in football.

A member of the BCLUW National Honor Society, Ubben plans to major in sports management/administration.

Ubben got the chance to see Northwestern play a home game this past season when he and his family visited campus over Winter Break. The Red Raiders trailed Buena Vista, another option for Ubben, by double-digits in the first half but rallied to win by two.

Ubben likes the up-tempo system of Northwestern and loves that the Red Raiders use a full-court press, as well.

“Coach Korver likes to mix it up,” Ubben said. “They have a good halfcourt offense but they like to push it, too. When I was there for the game, they came back to win and you could just tell then that Korver really knew what he was doing.”

Ubben will be joined in Orange City by current NICL West rival Tim Rose, who played basketball at South Hardin. Rose will compete for the Red Raider track and field team.

“I got to know him a little better at the all-star game this past weekend and he told me then that he was coming to Northwestern,” said Ubben. “I don’t really know him that well yet, but it’s cool having someone there that I am familiar with.”