Ten Wisconsin Badgers we are most thankful for

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 06: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 06: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Sam Dekker Wisconsin Badgers Wisconsin Basketball
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – APRIL 04: Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts after a play late in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Sam Dekker

Dekker is an interesting case. He wasn’t the typical Wisconsin basketball player. He came from Sheboygan Area Lutheran in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to the Badgers as a 5-star recruit. He could’ve gone anywhere, but he wanted to play for his home team and committed early.

According to 247, he’s the second-highest rated recruit Wisconsin ever signed just behind Brian Butch. Wisconsin has been in talks with other big-time recruits before and after Dekker came to Madison but Dekker’s decision seemed to turn a new page over for the program.

In Dekker’s three years in Madison before entering the NBA Draft and becoming a first-round selection of the Houston Rockets, the Badgers went to two Final Fours and played for a national championship.

Dekker’s role in those historic runs will never be forgotten either. Facing Arizona in the Elite Eight for the second year in a row, Dekker lit up the scoreboard for 27 points and buried dagger three after dagger three. Arizona never got their revenge and Wisconsin went on to get theirs against Kentucky in the Final Four where Dekker contributed a smooth 16 points.

Dekker was an atypical recruit and an outstanding player in his time in Madison. He’s currently enjoying a successful NBA career, which he deserves.