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Wilsonville's Zach Reichle relishes new role as freshman and supporting athlete.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Wilsonvilles Reichle has gone from being the top player on the team to having to work his way up the ranks on Oregon State Universitys basketball team. This past year brought about a good amount of change for Wilsonville's Zach Reichle. It is not so much a difference in kind as it is a difference scale. The 18 year old is still going to school and is still playing basketball. But now Reichle plays for Oregon State University after graduating from Wilsonville High School in the summer.

The 6'5 freshman has played in four games so far this season. The difference between high school basketball and college ball is not so much the game, but Reichle's role on the team.

"It's obviously very different from coming out of high school, being the main guy all the time to having to work your way up," Reichle said. "It's not something I've ever done before because I've always been the main guy. I don't have a problem adjusting to it, it's just that it takes a little time. Most guys on the division one teams were at one point the best guys on their high school team. Every division one player comes in as a very, very good player and you just have to know where you fit in with the team, and where your role starts."

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Reichle is now a supporting player rather than the top guy on his team. The Wilsonville alum has adjusted well to balancing school work and his athletic responsibilities. Obviously, Reichle is one of those athletes who was a highly regarded during his time as a Wildcat. ESPN named him the top high school basketball player in the state of Oregon in 2016 and 2017, and led his team to two state championships.

Playing in a bigger spotlight, Reichle says that he feels more pressure to represent his school and hometown, but more pressure to help his team get the W.

"There's a little more pressure (to represent) just because it's televised," Reichle said. "I don't think of that in terms of adding pressure, but obviously it's different because all games are televised and there's more people watching. That's not the added pressure to me I'd say. What's different about in games is that obviously I'm not the main guy right now, so I'm trying to as much as I can to help get the ball to the main guys and try to hit shots when I'm open, and work hard on defense, work on supporting roles."

Coming out of Wilsonville also prepared Reichle for the grind of practice and games with people who are determined to win the day.

"Obviously people in high school want to get better and have a spot on the team, but in college the guys are here for a reason," Reichle said. "The guys are here basically the same way you did with hard work and dedication. In high school there's variations of people who want to put in the work, in college everyone here has been putting in so much work to be able to get here.

"But coming from Wilsonville that doesn't really relate to as much, you've got a great program and coach, you didn't experience that very much. Obviously there's going to be practices where people are tired and all that, but you can see that at other schools where some people want to be there and some people don't, but I wouldn't say you see that at Wilsonville," Reichle added.

There is also a chance for Reichle to explore what Oregon State University has to offer education-wise. Reichle is currently undecided, but leaning towards business as his choice. Balancing school work and basketball has been another thing that Reichle has handled well since the term started.

"With college you have a lot more time to do your school work and your homework, it's just a matter of in college you have a lot more work," Reichle said. "It hasn't been difficult figuring out how to balance that, I know what I need to do, it's just more difficult in terms of having a lot more to do than I did in high school. I usually wake up, go to weights, do some school work, have practice, go to class after, then school work the rest of the night. It's not that I'm having difficulty figuring out what I need to balance, it's just the amount of work I have is a lot more."

Reichle and the Beavers will next play against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

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