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Timpview’s star sophomore has the Thunderbirds in the semifinals

Prep spotlight: Dean Rueckert says the young T-Birds “can only get better from here.”

(Courtesy) Timpview sophomore Dean Rueckert has his team in the 2024 Class 5A semifinals.

Dean Rueckert

School: Timpview

Grade: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

It was straight from the young, talented newcomer to a team leader for Rueckert when the 2023-24 basketball season began. And that’s what happens when almost all of the starting lineup from the previous year graduates and you’re the one left.

But Rueckert and his band of young Thunderbirds have adapted well.

After nipping Orem by a point, Timpview moved into the Class 5A semifinals against top-seeded Alta on Tuesday. The top seven scorers for the T-Birds this season are sophomores and they’re led by the lanky, 6-foot-7 Rueckert.

“We’re a really young team. We have a lot of sophomores, so we’ve done great with how young we are — with not as much experience as we had last year,” said Rueckert, who is averaging 19.7 points a game. “We can only get better from here.”

Rueckert started last year, but three of the regular starters were seniors. The other was a junior.

“As a returning guy, I kind of needed to step more into a leadership role. That was the biggest change from last year,” he said.

Although he considers himself a long guard and co-leads the team (with fellow soph Callen Tollestrup) in 3-point makes, Rueckert’s size also helps make him the team’s leading rebounder.