Basketball: Osakis' Bauer Klimek excited to join another winning culture in college at Jamestown
The Silverstreaks' senior guard averaged nearly 19 points per game this season and is excited about his potential fit in a Jimmies system that has produced consistent winning seasons while playing an up-tempo style offensively.
OSAKIS — Senior guard Bauer Klimek has been a key fixture of Osakis boys basketball teams that combined to go 64-13 over the past three seasons, and he will try to make a similar impact on another winning program during his college career.
Klimek signed with the University of Jamestown to continue his academic and athletic career in basketball. The Jimmies are a consistent winner at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level, going 115-48 over the last five seasons.
“I kind of chose (Jamestown) because it was a nice, small feel like Osakis was,” Klimek said. “Their basketball program has been really doing well the last few years, so that really stood out to me. It was pretty important coming from a winning culture to now going to a winning culture. It just seemed to fit right.”
Jamestown went 26-10 during the 2021-22 season behind an offense that averaged 79.4 points per game. The Jimmies shot 38% from three as a team and 48.5% from the field overall.
“They like to push the ball, get up and down and shoot a lot of threes,” Klimek said. “Obviously, they make a lot of them with 38% three-point shooting. They like to push the ball and score. I think I’ll be pretty confident when I finally step in. They have a good class right now, so it might be a little bit. It might be like when I was a sophomore (at Osakis) with Daniel (Savageau) and those guys, everyone driving and hitting me in the corner for threes.”
Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher is confident that Klimek’s game will fit well into the Jamestown system at the NAIA level. Klimek averaged a team-best 18.8 points per game in helping the Silverstreaks to a 25-4 season. He shot 35.4% from three on a high volume of 291 shots from the three-point line.
“Bauer has the quickness and shooting ability to play at the NAIA level,” Hoelscher said. “He can get hot from the three quickly, so I would envision them setting multiple screens or putting him in spots where he can catch and shoot. At that level, three point shooting is a major factor and when you can space out the floor to produce driving lanes, having a caliber player like Bauer with the ability to make shots makes a team like Jamestown more difficult to guard.”
Klimek passed the 1,000-point milestone for his career in a win over Upsala on Feb. 17, 2022. He went from a catch-and-shoot three-point specialist off the bench during his sophomore season on a Silverstreaks team that went 25-3 to being a more all-around player as a senior. That includes on the defensive side where he had a team-high 80 steals and 60 deflections.
“I think my three-point shooting is fine, but I just need to be able to drive and finish more inside with there being taller defenders now,” Klimek said when asked about where his game needs to continue to grow to contribute in college. “My drive and finishing just needs to be worked on.”
Klimek had a couple of other schools that he looked into, but the fit on campus and in the basketball program just felt right for him in Jamestown.
A lot of that came back to continuing in a winning culture. Klimek said he has learned a lot in Osakis about what it takes to be a part of a successful program.
Hoelscher took over as head coach ahead of the 2012-13 season, and his first two teams in Osakis went a combined 9-43. He and his players stayed true to the process of building a program up.
The Silverstreaks have now won six straight Prairie Conference championships and have won 20-plus games overall in five of those years. The only time that did not happen is when Osakis went 14-6 overall in the shortened season during the pandemic in 2020-21.
“With Matt, how he’s turned it into a winning program is he’s done a lot with the younger kids,” Klimek said. “That’s really made them want to come out and practice more. I think he’s just done that and ingrained that in their mind that if you keep practicing, keep working hard, a lot of good things will pay off. What I take from that is I’m just going to keep working hard like he’s always told me. Keep doing what the coaches say and keep playing.”
Playing college basketball has been a longtime goal for Klimek. He’s excited to get the opportunity now and see where it takes him at Jamestown.
“It was a great feeling (signing), finally knowing all the hard work has paid off,” Klimek said. “I just need to keep working and keep playing.”