Daniel Freitag is headed west for his senior high school basketball season. He will return to the Midwest for college, and it will be to a neighboring state.
The Bloomington Jefferson junior guard announced Friday that he will attend Wisconsin. He selected the Badgers from a final five that also included the Gophers, Baylor, Notre Dame and Virginia.
"I wanted to go somewhere where it feels like a family," Freitag said. "I chose Wisconsin because of the bond I had with Coach [Greg] Gard and assistant coach [Joe] Krabbenhoft. It was unmatched."
Freitag joins Lakeville North's tandem of 6-11 senior center Nolan Winter and 6-7 junior forward Jack Robison as Minnesota recruits to select the Badgers in the past year. He is teammates with Robison on the AAU circuit at Howard Pulley.
"Jack has been putting a bug in my ear about coming to Wisconsin," Freitag said.
It also didn't hurt that the Badgers weren't recruiting any other guards to run the point.
"They haven't offered any other point guards in my grade or surrounding grades, and that showed how much trust they had in landing me," Freitag said. "Coach Gard showed he's all in on me."
Earlier this spring, Freitag, Minnesota's top-ranked boys basketball player in the Class of 2024, announced he will play for Southern California Academy in Northridge, Calif., his senior season.
Freitag said he decided to leave Bloomington Jefferson to further develop his game. A 6-2, 180-pound guard, he is ranked 60th in the nation by Rivals and 90th by 247Sports.
Freitag said he felt he was playing guard too little at Jefferson.
"I realized where I was playing in high school didn't align with where I would be playing in the future. I was playing out of position," Freitag said. "I wanted to develop more in the position that I would be playing."
Freitag, a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team selection, averaged 28.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game in 2022-23. He surpassed Cole Aldrich as Bloomington Jefferson's all-time leading scorer.
"It is his drive and determination to always be at his best that makes Daniel stand out as an athlete," Jaguars coach Jeff Evens said.
A two-sport athlete, Freitag is also being recruited by the Gophers for football as a wide receiver/running back; he was the Jaguars' quarterback. Southern California Academy doesn't offer football.