‘Captain America’ Josh Gasser Important Piece for Wisconsin Badgers


It might seem as if Wisconsin Badgers guard Josh Gasser has been with the program forever. Other Big Ten schools and fans of those schools probably question how long Gasser has been in school and may even take into question his eligibility. But it’s a testament to the type of player Gasser is and the way he approaches each and every practice and game day.

Sam Dekker gave Gasser praise earlier this week when talking about the type of player the fifth-year senior is and what he has meant to this program:

"But he’s one of those guys you hate to play against because he’s always going to come ready to play, he’s always going to bring it. He’s not always showing up in the box score with huge numbers every night, but he does a lot of things to keep our team together. He’s a great leader for us, and he’s always been a really great teammate."

Hell, even Frank Kaminsky believes that Gasser has been here forever. Somewhere to the tune of 15 years.

Obviously that is not true, but Gasser has been a staple of this team as much as anyone who has set foot on the Kohl Center floor. Saturday afternoon Gasser will surpass another milestone as he will set the Badgers record for most career starts with 127. The previous record had been held by Alando Tucker, who was a phenomenal player in his own right for Bo Ryan.

Gasser set out on his journey in Madison to prove people wrong. Many thought he couldn’t do it, and five years later he has become one of the hardest workers Wisconsin has seen. He started his first game in November of 2010 as a true freshman, something that is somewhat rare for a Ryan-led team. Later in that same year against Northwestern, he would go on to record the programs first-ever triple double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

But it was just before the 2012-13 where could have all come crashing down for Gasser. Right before the regular season was to tip-off, Gasser would end up tearing his ACL in practice and would miss the upcoming season. Some athletes have trouble coming back from something like that, but not Gasser. He worked as hard as ever behind the scenes to return to the form he was previous to the injury. Last season he showed that grit and determination, but seemed to be a half-step slower than usual. This season however, sans knee brace, Gasser is as mobile as ever. Anytime there’s a loose ball, one player you can count one diving for it will be Gasser. He’s averaging 7.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, but it’s what you don’t see in the box score every night that puts Gasser a head above the rest.

Captain America is what Gasser has been dubbed recently and frankly it fits perfectly. He’s the type of guy that can do nearly anything and everything you ask of him and give his all on every play on both ends of the floor. Ryan knows just how special Gasser is and knows this team would not be as successful as it is without him.

A player with as much heart and determination as Josh Gasser does not come around very often. We should all be thankful we have had the pleasure of watching someone like this play the game we all love to watch.