Perham junior Finn Diggins leapt off the ground, caught the lob pass and laid it into the hoop for his 32nd point of the night and his 1,000th point of his career. With that basket, Diggins joined an elite group of Perham boys basketball players when he became the third player in school history to achieve that career mark. Diggins joined all-time scoring leader Jenson Beachy and Josh Jeziorski as the only three to carry out that feat.
After making the basket, Diggins was presented with the game ball and he gave it to his parents in the crowd as he received a standing ovation from the fans in attendance.
“It’s crazy,” Diggins said. “I teared up a bit hugging my parents. It’s a dream come true. I have dreamed about this since middle school.”
Diggins knew exactly how many points he was from hitting 1,000 and said he didn’t want to force any shots on his way to achieving the feat.
“I didn’t want to force any shots or get bad looks,” Diggins said. “Shots were just falling tonight and that’s just what happened.”
The shots were falling for Diggins, who was 13 of 17 from the field and six of nine from the 3-point line in the win for Perham.
Perham head coach Dave Cresap said Diggins is a phenomenal young man, who brings many great things to the Yellowjackets.
“I just thoroughly enjoy having him around. His demeanor and his attitude is just phenomenal. I’m so proud of him and happy for him. There are so many things I could say and so many adjectives I could say to describe Finn,” Cresap said. “I’m just happy he was able to do it on our home court. He needed 32 and he went out and got 36 and had a monster game and they couldn’t stop him. Those division II coaches and others better get on us pretty quick, because he is a hot commodity and will be a good player for somebody.”
Cresap said Diggins brings a lot of intangibles on-and-off the court. Prior to the game, Diggins spoke about the seniors on the team and Cresap said that’s a sign of the type of person Diggins is.
“He got in front of the crowd tonight and spoke about his seniors. I asked him to say a few words and the way he wrote it, shows his character,” Cresap said. “He appreciates everything that they have done for him. It’s just a team thing. I’m so proud of Finn Diggins. He is a super nice kid and I love him to death. He is going to have a great career somewhere, not only if he doesn’t play basketball. He is just going to have a great career ahead of him because he is such a good, young man.”
Diggins said he was happy to accomplish the feat in front of the hometown crowd, which was energized for the rivalry game with Pelican Rapids and the last regular season home game.
“There were just so many people here supporting me,” Diggins said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to have gotten it at any other place.”
Cresap said when Diggins has the 3-point shot working he is a unguardable player. Diggins has made himself a versatile threat by being able to hit from the outside, while still having the ability to attack in the interior.
“If he hits the 3-ball, I’m going to say he is unguardable, because you have to come out and he is going to go around you. He can go in the block and post you up,” Cresap said. “He has all facets of the game when he is hitting that 3-ball. He has hit it consistently. He is shooting it with confidence and we are letting him go. We are not saying much to him and letting him shoot it and giving him that open reign to let it fly when he feels it. He will go in that block and get offensive rebounds and get and-1’s too. He is a real tough guard for a lot of people. He is an all-around player and we are proud to have him.”
Diggins said it’s surreal to meet a goal he has dreamt about since he was in middle school.
“It’s hard to explain. When I got it everything just paused and I felt like it was just me standing there by myself,” Diggins said. “It’s crazy.”
After the victory over Pelican Rapids, Diggins and the Yellowjackets have their sights set on Pequot Lakes and the Section 8AA playoffs.
“We have to finish out strong and roll into playoffs,” Diggins said. “Playoffs will be a whole different beast. Hopefully we can continue what we have been doing the previous two years.”