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Hoops star Hornseth will be 'in good hands' at Northern Iowa

Will Hornseth, who helped lead De Pere to a perfect 30-0 record and a state championship last season, plans to play college basketball at Northern Iowa.
Posted at 7:50 PM, Jul 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 20:50:02-04

DE PERE, Wis. (NBC 26) — Will Hornseth didn't love the recruiting process.

It's nice to be wanted, but the De Pere basketball standout admitted he can be indecisive at times.

When it came down to it, the reigning state champion felt at home at Northern Iowa.

"It got to a point where I was like, 'Man, I know this school is going to work for me. If I go there, I know it's going to work,'" Hornseth said. "So why would I not just commit now and get it over with?"

"I know I'm going to be in good hands," he said, adding that he wanted to take the pressure of recruiting off his shoulders.

Northern Iowa has had success as a mid-major program. The school also has rich ties to northeast Wisconsin.

In 2010, Ashwaubenon natives Adam and Jake Koch helped lead the Panthers to a massive upset win over No. 1 Kansas and a berth in the Sweet 16.

Hornseth was very young at the time, but said he is aware of the history.

"I'd like to say that wherever I'm going to go I feel like we're going to be a good team and we can win games," he said. "But knowing that coach (Ben) Jacobson and UNI have had success before... it's a good support knowing that they know how to win games there."

Hornseth also had offers from Green Bay, Toledo, St. Thomas (Minnesota), Dartmouth and Princeton.

Needless to say, the Ivy League was tough to pass up.

"(It was) definitely a debate," he said. "I think that's what it came down to. I knew Northern Iowa was going to be a good fit but it's like... 'Man, a Princeton education is pretty incredible.'"

Locally, Hornseth said he hit it off with new UWGB coach Sundance Wicks, but staying home wasn't the right fit.

"I wish him a lot of success in trying to recreate that program because I grew up watching GB and cheering for GB," he said.

"I do hope that they have a lot of success. Just not more than me," Hornseth laughed.

Hornseth has one more season at De Pere before heading off to Cedar Falls. After a record-setting 30-0 record last year, the Redbirds will be among the favorites to repeat in 2024.

"I'm going to leave nothing there," Hornseth said. "I want to make sure that I come out of De Pere knowing that I left everything on the table and that we went for 60-0 because why would it not be?"

"I would love to achieve the - what's thought to be - unachievable again."

Hornseth and junior guard Zach Kinziger, who recently picked up an offer from Wisconsin, will lead the Redbirds in the 23-24 season.

Zach's older brother, reigning Mr. Basketball award-winner John Kinziger, will begin his college career at Illinois State this season. He and Hornseth - former teammates - are future Missouri Valley Conference rivals. They'll play each other twice a year in college.