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1,000-point scorer Lundberg a man of many interests

IT DIDN’T GO TO HIS HEAD — Benji Lundberg is crowned NRHEG Homecoming King by high school pricipal David Bunn. (Star Eagle photo by Chris Schlaak)

 

By MELANIE PILTINGSRUD
Contributing Writer

The Panthers will be losing an outstanding basketball player, and the high school an outstanding student when Benji Lundberg graduates this spring.

Lundberg, who recently made his 1,000th point, plans to play basketball and major in accounting and business at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter this coming fall. Lundberg says that will be fun because one of the role models from his freshman year, Spencer Tollefson, will be a senior there next year. “He was a senior when I was a freshman in high school, so it’ll be the same in college then,” says Lundberg.

“They were really interested in me for basketball,” says Lundberg of Gustavus Adolphus, listing some of the campus attractions. “I’ve been around the college a lot of times before because my brother and sister went there before me, and I know St. Peter really well. I know people who have gone there, and they said it was always really fun, and the visits I took were phenomenal. It’s close to Mankato, and it’s like an hour from the Cities, so it’s in a good area.”

Lundberg is saving up for a car to make those future trips to Mankato and Minneapolis. He currently works as a cashier at Casey’s in Ellendale. “I enjoy getting to interact with lots of people and talk to them,” he says. “And a lot of people that come through are regulars, so they sit or stand by the register and just talk to me for a while, and ask about how basketball was and how life’s been, so it’s fun.”

Lundberg decided to go into accounting because he was impressed with the job when he had the opportunity to job shadow an accountant. “I saw what it was like, and the schedule he had, and he had summers off.” Lundberg explained that the accountant had his own firm. “I mean, you couldn’t do that right away, but…” Lundberg admits that his  dream job wouldn’t be an accountant. If he could do anything, he would be an NBA equipment manager, but he believes that, with his affinity for math and his organizational skills, accounting would be a good fit for him.

Lundberg has put those organizational skills to good use during his high school years, volunteering for blood drives, helping with Operation Christmas Child, and the Food Shelf.

He is also involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, and choir, and he’s a leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

When asked about his favorite classes in high school, Lundberg says, “Any of the math ones. I like math. It’s the most fun when you understand it. When you don’t, it’s very frustrating though. It always came really easy to me. I was kind of lucky that way, but like English… I still get A’s in it and stuff, but that’s not my strong suit.”

Lundberg’s favorite teachers are Mrs. Schaub, who is the new math instructor, taking over for Mr. Ellerbusch, and Mr. Churchill, who teaches social studies.

Lundberg is looking forward to life after high school. Someday, he says he’d like to live in the suburbs of Minneapolis. “’Cause I like the cities more than small towns,” he says. “There’s more to do. Living in this area, it’s kind of always the norm. There’s not a lot to do. A lot of different activities – you have to go somewhere else to do them. So, if you were just working in the Cities, you’d have those at your hand all day.” Currently, Lundberg’s free time is filled up with playing basketball, hanging out with friends, playing board games and working out. What would he do in his free time if he lived in the Twin Cities? “Probably go to a lot more sporting events,” says Lundberg. “[It would] be a lot easier.”

Although Lundberg likes the large cities, he knows how to appreciate small town life, too. He says he likes the close-knit atmosphere. “It’s a good thing and a bad thing how everyone gets involved in your life and what you’re doing,” he says, “because they really, actually care. And you know people as you walk around – people I play basketball with. You can get to know people a little bit better, and see them on a day-to-day basis.”

Lundberg says it is the people he will miss most about high school. “Everyone always being so nice,” he adds. “I come from a small town. That’s, like, the best thing, ‘cause everyone’s always so personable. They talk to you at a different level. That’s why I like St. Peter as well, and Gustavus, because it’s not a big college.” Having grown up in a small town, Lundberg wants to attend a college where the professors get to know you.

Lundberg wants to get involved in the community in St. Peter, too. “I want to join like the FCA group and other Christian organizations and do some service projects around St. Peter,” he says.

Lundberg was aided in his choice of college by the experiences of one of his five older siblings. “I had one sister that went to the University of Minnesota,” says Lundberg, “and she said it was a little bit iffy, but then she went to North Central.” His sister liked the smaller college better.

Lundberg is well prepared for college life, because he already knows how to de-stress. He plays basketball and works out. “If I’m ever stressed about anything I go run, and then go play basketball,” he says. Lundberg says Lerberg’s Fitness Center is a nice place to work out. “You can go there whenever you want. Some nights I went up there at, like, 12 at night, and I’d go work out then.”

Lundberg’s advice to underclassmen is, “Don’t take high school for granted. Enjoy your time. Enjoy the people you’re surrounded by. A lot of kids don’t really enjoy their time and they kind of isolate themselves from people. That’s kind of sad, because everyone should have someone to go to.”

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