Clayton Vette is wrapping up his Winona State basketball career and he has been raking in the awards in his senior season. He has been named the NSIC Player of the Year and he is a first team all-american. But Winona State actually is very lucky that Vette even ended up at Winona State because he nearly gave up basketball. Vette won the Mr. Basketball award in the state of Iowa during his senior season at Waverly-Shell Rock High School back in 2007. He then went to Iowa State on a full ride basketball scholarship but he played just five games at Iowa State his freshman season before he suffered a season ending injury. At the end of his first semester at Iowa State he decided he needed some time off. Clayton says the large school atmosphere wasn't for him. He thought about just giving up basketball but when the NCAA Division I tournament rolled around in March he got the itch to play basketball again. A Winona State alum was an assistant coach Iowa State when Vette was there and he helped push Vette towards Winona State.
Clayton came to Winona State at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season and he had to redshirt that season due to NCAA rules. Vette made his decide to come to Winona State just as the Warriors were finishing up their second NCAA Division II championship season. He says Winona State’s success made him aware of the school and played a little role in him coming here but it was not the complete reason.
Vette has been a dominating force for Winona State throughout his career and especially during his junior and season seasons. Last year he averaged 16.7 points and this year he has upped his scoring average to 20.7 points. He’s also averaging 8 rebounds and is shooting over 57% from the field.
He did make a promise to Coach Leaf when he came on a visit to Winona State. He told Coach Leaf that he was going to bring him a national championship. Vette and the Warriors need just three more wins to make good on that promise. Winona State opens up play in the Elite Eight Thursday afternoon against number one ranked West Liberty at 1:30 in Louisville, Kentucky.