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Former Granger shines in Nebraska

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Bo Russell looked right at home in Nebraska.

Russell, a LaGrange High graduate, spent the 2019-2020 season at Southeast Community College in Nebraska, and he was one of the top players on a team that finished with a 17-13 record.

Russell, who spent his freshman season at Southern Union before transferring to Southeast, was the team’s third-leading scorer at 14.6 points per game.

Russell had seven games where he scored at least 20 points, and he reached that milestone in three of his final five games.

With his junior-college days behind him, Russell is preparing to transfer to a four-year school.

“I’m just looking for a school that will fit me,” Russell said.

Russell, a play-making guard, arrived on the college scene after an exceptional stint as a player at LaGrange High.

Russell helped the Grangers win back-to-back region championships in 2016 and 2017, and he was the leading scorer as a senior during the 2017-2018 season.

“He just goes hard,” said LaGrange High head coach Mark Veal. “He does what you like a lot of players to do. He attacks the rim, and he’s got the floater, and he doesn’t give up on a play. Even in high school, it looked like it was going to be a dunk or a layup, and he’d come out of nowhere and just swat it. He runs the court hard, he pushes it hard, and he just plays hard.”

After playing at Southern Union during the 2018-2019 season, Russell made the move to Southeast, which has been home to so many LaGrange High players over the years.

Russell made himself right at home, scoring 22 points in his debut game, and he made 8-of-12 shot attempts two games later while scoring 19 points.

Late in the season Russell was 10-of-14 from the field while scoring 23 points, and he had a season-best 24 points against North Platte Community College.

As far as making the transition to college basketball, Russell said “it was pretty easy. The only thing I had to adjust to was having a shot clock.”

During his high-school days, Russell had plenty of individual and team success.

One of his most memorable moments came in the Region 5-AAAA championship game against Sandy Creek in 2017 when he hit a big 3-pointer in overtime as LaGrange won 65-58.

“He hit a big three, right in front of us,” Veal said. “It was in overtime, and it gave us the lead and just about sealed it. He was big-shot Bo.”

Russell was the leading scorer as a senior while leading LaGrange to the state tournament, and he then made the transition to the college game and continued to produce.

Now, Russell will make the transition to a four-year college, and like every other student-athlete, he’s doing his best to stay in playing shape while everything is shut down because of the coronavirus.

“We’re just waiting on the gyms to come back open,” Russell said.