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By Stephen Poirier
You may now know Al Richter as the sharpshooting wing currently making a big splash for the Island Storm this season, but hitting big buckets is nothing new for him.
The six-foot-five forward grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota before he started to grab headlines in the basketball world during his junior year at Augustana University, where he was named to the All-NSIC First Team in NCAA Division II basketball during the 2014-15 season.
From there, he followed up with an even better senior campaign in 2015-16, being named once again to the All-NSIC First Team but he was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Elite Eight en route to capturing the NCAA Division II Championship, where he posted 26 points and six rebounds in the finals against Lincoln Memorial.
As the story goes, Richter then signed with the Island Storm fresh off his championship win for the 2016-17 season; his first taste of professional basketball.
“I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to play the game I love at the professional level,” he said. “I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this point in my career. I am extremely excited to get started and help another team be successful.”
Throughout university and into this season with the Storm, Richter is known as an efficient shooter and a threat from the land beyond, posting a field-goal percentage of 54.5 per cent while hitting nearly 50 per cent of his shots from downtown during his senior year at Augustana.
Richter describes himself as a detail-oriented, hard working, selfless person and player.
While at Augustana he learned that attention to detail and a coachable demeanor are invaluable to success. With a division II championship under his belt, it’s hard to argue with him.
Only a month into his tenure, Richter raves about playing ball on the Gentle Island.
“Basketball on P.E.I. has been great so far. We have a great fan base who are clearly engaged with the team and what we have going on.”
He reflected on his play so far and believes he’s getting better with every game.
“I got off to a bit of a slow start in my opinion but I am consistently becoming more and more comfortable out there and that should only help improve my game and play as the player I know I am.”
Off the court, Richter sees himself returning to a career in real estate in Minneapolis when his basketball days are through, but Storm fans have nothing to worry about just yet.
“Hopefully that isn’t for a few more years.”