The gym in Whatcom Community College is huge. The floor is filled with stacks of weights that tower overhead like obsidian columns. But then Logan Schilder ducks in through the main door, and the columns seem more like Lincoln Logs.
On May 6, Schilder transferred from WCC and signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Vikings basketball team. Schilder is only the second seven-footer in the Western basketball history.
Schilder didn’t play basketball until his senior year at Bellingham High School.
“Because I was seven-feet tall, I decided that I should probably start playing a sport that benefited from that,” Schilder said.
Following a series of leg injuries during his sophomore and junior years of high school, Schilder didn’t think he was ready to attend a four-year university after graduating.
Schilder began attending WCC and honing his skills as a center. Over the course of the season, he accumulated an average of 2.35 blocks per game, double the amount of anyone else in the Northwest Athletic Conference. The mark would have been good for third in the GNAC this past season. Schilder also recorded a double-double in eight out of the team’s last 11 games, scoring over 10 points and making over 10 rebounds each game.
With many seniors graduating from the program, Western basketball’s head coach Tony Dominguez knew he needed to recruit to strengthen the team’s play from the post position.
For Dominguez, having former WCC head coach and friend David Dunham join his coaching staff this off season gave the Vikings an edge in recruiting Schilder.
“[Schilder] has a temperament that is competitive, but he understands game awareness.”
Western basketball’s head coach Tony Dominguez
Schilder had grown close with Dunham during his time at WCC and trusted his coach’s council.
“We sat in my office and we talked about the pros and cons of being able to come to Western,” Dunham said. “His goal is really to take the [financial] burden off of his family for college.”
Athletics and family go hand-in-hand, Schilder said.
His father was a professional tennis player before he passed away when Schilder was only 7 years old. His brother, Auden, is goalkeeper for the University of Washington’s soccer team. Both have served as huge role models for Schilder.
The main reason he chose Western was to remain close to his mom, Schilder said.
“As much as she would be okay with me going places, I just felt better being able to be here,” Schilder said. “I don’t have to call my mom; I can just go see her.”
His athletic spirit – trying to maintain calm while still being competitive – comes from watching his brother, Schilder said.
Schilder’s calm but competitive mentality is invaluable to the team, Dominguez said.
“Most guys just want to play no matter what. They don’t care about the situation; they just want to be in the game,” Dominguez said. “[Schilder] has a temperament that is competitive, but he understands game awareness.”
What really sets Schilder apart from other players is his sportsmanship, Dominguez said.
Many players have individual expectations when they get recruited, and individual success has become increasingly important in the last 5 to 10 years, Dominguez said. Schilder, however, just wants to win.
He’ll have his opportunity to help the Vikings do just that next winter.