One of Brandon Myer’s early memories of basketball was being a ball boy for the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets, and his favorite player was Jake Smith.
During the 2010-11 season, Smith became the Yellowjackets’ all-time leading scorer and was named the WIAC Player of the Year. He was also named NCAA All-Region by d3hoops.com and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
“I was in elementary school I believe, maybe middle school, and I would always look up to Jake Smith,” Myer said. “I then remember when he was done I would look up at his banner and say ‘Wow, he almost scored 2,000 points, that’s just insane.'”
Fast forward about four years and Myer and Smith were reunited with the Superior High School Spartans.
With Smith as his head coach, Myer enjoyed successful junior and senior seasons. The Spartans went a combined 42-9 and made it to back-to-back sectional tournaments.
After averaging 10 points and 6.0 rebounds a game as a junior, Myer blossomed as a senior, averaging 21 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. He finished with 517 points, shooting about 47% from the field, 44% from the 3-point line and 85% from the free-throw line. He also added 2.1 assists per game, the second best average on the team.
Myer’s play led to him being named the Superior Telegram All-Area Player of the Year and eventually helped land him a scholarship offer from the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
“Brandon was a very special player during his time as a Spartan,” SHS coach Jake Smith said. “I haven't been coaching as long as veteran coaches, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say players of Brandon's ability don't come around very often. Superior was fortunate to have a player of not only Brandon's skill set, but his commitment, dedication and work ethic as well.
“Perhaps one of Brandon’s best qualities is the type of person that he is outside of basketball. He’s the type of man that I would want my own son to grow up to be like. He is so genuine and just a great person to be around. He’s a fantastic role model to young players everywhere.”
During Myer’s freshman season at UMD, he started 15 of 18 games, but missed 11 games due to injury.
Myer then went on to lead UMD in scoring and blocked shots for three consecutive seasons.
During his senior season, he started all 31 games, led the Bulldogs in scoring (23.7 ppg), rebounding (9.7 rpg), field goal percentage (52.8%), steals (52), blocks (30) and minutes per night (33.9). He was also second in assists with 76.
Along the way, Myer became UMD's all-time leading scorer, was named an NABC Division II All-American, D2CCA All-Central Region First Team and the NSIC Player of the Year.
“I’m not going to lie, I never thought I would have the kind of success I had,” Myer said. “When I was being recruited by colleges, I was just super grateful. When I got the scholarship from UMD, I was just happy to be playing college basketball, and once I put on the uniform, I thought this was pretty cool.”
Myer finished his career with 2,045 points and also holds the distinction of being the only Bulldog to score more than 2,000 points.
“You’re not going to find a better kid, great student and just an all-around great person,” UMD coach Justin Wieck said. “He’s got a great personality and is very humble. He didn’t want to be honored for being the all-time leading scorer. He didn’t want to do that pregame. He just wanted to focus on the game. I think he’s not only a great player but future guys in our program can really look up to him and try to emulate him as a person, as well as a player.”
After setting UMD’s scoring mark, Myer received a video message from Jay Guidinger, the previous record holder.
Guidinger scored 1,953 points for UMD from 1987-91. The Milwaukee native went on to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1992-94.
“That was something else, something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Myer said. “Not only is he considered the greatest Bulldog to play at UMD and he played in the NBA, but as a man.”
Myer is only the fourth player from Superior to earn a letter with the UMD men’s basketball team. The other three were Gene Evans (1956-57), Nate Koch (1992-96) and Jake Nettleton (1998-2002).
All three of them enjoyed stellar careers at UMD, led by Nettleton, who was named All-NSIC in 2001 and 2002 and finished fifth all-time in career 3-pointers made (198), 3-pointers attempted (481) and steals (159).
“I knew there weren’t a ton of guys from Superior to play at UMD, but I didn’t know there were only three others,” Myer said. “It’s an honor to have my name alongside those guys. I take a lot of pride in being from Superior. I know that sometimes Superior is known as a hockey town, so it’s nice to help Superior also be known for its basketball.”
Myer’s playing days aren’t over yet. He recently signed with an agent from OTIS (Overtime International Sports) and will attempt to play basketball professionally in Europe.
“Recruiting has started and I got a player profile out there ... but nothing will move forward anytime soon because of the pandemic,” he said.
Myer also hasn’t ruled out playing in the NBA one day.
“I’m not trying to make it sound like I belong in the NBA, but I’d be wrong if I said that I’m not shooting for that,” Myer said. “It’s not my No. 1 goal, and if I fall short, I fall short.”
Wherever he ends up, Myer will always have a huge support base, which includes his parents, Dale and Jeanne Myer; his younger sister, Maddy; and many other family members and friends.
“They owned part of the bleachers (at Romano Gym),” Myer said. “There was a whole section where you knew where the ‘Myer Clan’ was. They were the loudest of the loudest.
“I'm also grateful for the support I got from so many people that I didn’t realize were following the team. There were people I didn't know coming up to me and congratulating me. That just meant the world to me, so I’m super grateful to be from the city that I’m from.”
NOTES: Myer, a marketing major at UMD, graduated from SHS in 2016. … During his senior year he was named the Superior Telegram and Duluth News Tribune Player of the Year, first-team all-Lake Superior Conference and voted the Spartans’ MVP as a junior and senior. … Myer, along with teammates Nick Mehlum, Connor Gray, Jake Libal and Brett Lozon, were named the Telegram’s Player of the Year (as a team) as a junior in 2015.