The 5-11 Denk, a rising senior, helped the Lakeville North girls’ basketball team to a fourth-place finish in the Class 4A state tournament, averaging 10.6 point as a forward. Denk is playing this summer for the Minnesota Stars AAU program, and looks to get the Panthers back to the state tournament next season. Here’s a closer look at Denk:
What got you into basketball? My dad played basketball growing up, and my grandpa was a high school basketball coach in Iowa. He also coached in North Dakota.
What do you like about basketball? I like the competition. It’s a good way to relieve stress for me. It’s kind of an escape from reality.
Do you have any pregame rituals? Before every game, I take a 37-minute nap, then a I usually eat a turkey sandwich.
Why 37 minutes? When I was a freshman, one of the seniors told me that was the perfect amount of time for a nap. I’ve just done that ever since.
What type of music do you listen to before games? Usually, pump-up music like rap; no artists in particular, really.
When you’re not playing basketball … I’m probably sleeping. Longer than 37 minutes, though.
What one word would your teammates use to describe you? Loud. I like to yell a lot in basketball and be a vocal leader on the court.
What’s your favorite movie you’ve seen lately? "Endless Love." It’s a love story from one of [author] Nicholas Sparks’ books. I like romance movies a lot.
Ten years from now, you will … Hopefully have a job, a husband, and have kids and be living a normal life.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from playing basketball? Just that your teammates are your family, and that you shouldn’t take anything for granted. Play every game like it’s your last.