Former standout playing for Jamestown Jimmies as frosh
Expect to see more from the Farkas brothers in college basketball, and I'm not just talking about current Packer hoops player Chase Farkas' prospects.
Older brother Tanner Farkas, WFHS class of 2008, plays for Jamestown College as a freshman. Tanner is the fourth son of Jay and Coralie Farkas to play multi-sports for West Fargo High and move on to compete collegiately. Justin (class of 1999), Tyler ('01) and Seth ('05) all took their athletic talents to the next level.
Tanner was last year's leading scorer for the Packers and was named first team all-state. He was a three-time all-conference guard as well as the starting quarterback for the football team last season. Tanner has seen his playing time increase for the Jimmies this year as a backup guard and looks for his role to expand in the future.
Here's a question and answer session with Tanner as he prepared to play in last week's Wisconsin-Eau Claire basketball tournament.
Question: How much more intense are the practices in college versus high school?
Answer: The practices in college are far more intense than they are in high school. It's kind of a job. It's way longer. Practices are at least two and a half hours, and that's if you don't lift. If you lift then it's like three or three and a half hours. It's a lot more intense.
Q: What are some differences when it comes to actually playing a game?
A: Well, in college, the level of competition is a lot higher. Obviously if you're playing college basketball, they're going to be a lot quicker and stronger. There's more attention to detail, little things like getting through screens, setting screens and all this stuff. It's a lot more intense, a lot harder and a lot more difficult than it is in high school.
Q: How much playing time are you getting right now?
A: I'm probably getting 12 to 14 minutes. Our last game I think I played like 20 [at home versus Bemidji State]. The first time I played I got like eight minutes down in Nebraska. I got in for a little bit here and there. I was definitely nervous, I know, but once I was in the game I got more comfortable as the game went on.
Q: Can you take us through an average day for you during the basketball season?
A: The average day I get up around 9:30-ish and go to class. I have lunch and go to class again. Then after my last class I have practice from around 3-5, and if we lift, we usually lift after practice. Then I get something to eat, do homework, do some studying and go to bed. I get up the next day and do it all over again.
Q: What aspects of your game do you think you've improved on since high school?
A: I would say along with a lot of other people that it was probably my defense. I've improved my defense a lot since high school. I know defense is a big part of me getting in there and playing. When I'm in the game, coaches want me to be a defensive stopper.
Q: On the flipside, what parts of your game would you like to improve?
A: I think you can always get better with your shot. I've been working on my shot over the break. I did a lot of shooting and went to some West Fargo practices and got some shooting in. I actually joined some drills, and it's kind of funny. It seemed really easy compared to practices in college. We were doing defensive drills and guys were huffing and puffing, and it was really easy. I told them I didn't know why they were having a hard time with it. I kind of thought it was funny.
Q: What values or traits do you think you learned in high school sports that you think are helping you now at the college level?
A: I'd probably say listening and communicating are big keys. Once you get to the college level those are really big things, and I think I learned that stuff from my high school coaches. Not only on the court, but off the court, you have to be able to communicate with different teammates and get to know everyone you've never played with.
Q: Who do you turn to for inspiration, maybe when times are rough?
A: I definitely talked to my mom and dad a lot right away. I was in kind of a rough time early on, and they helped me get through it by talking to me and letting me know what I needed to work on. They were giving me words of encouragement on what I could do. My parents are a big part of that. Even though Jamestown isn't all that far away, I had a little trouble being away from home. I was used to being close to my family and having them there. It was a big difference for me.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I want to be a starter. I want to contribute a lot more than I am now to the team. It's kind of different being the freshman and not being the top dog, per se. I want to be like I was in high school, become a bigger leader and everything like that.
Q: How about your younger brother Chase? Tell me what you think about his basketball future. [Chase is a sophomore reserve for the Packers this season].
A: Chase is a very hard worker, and he's extremely unselfish. He likes to make that extra pass, even if he doesn't have to. He's a very good player all around. If he was a little taller, I think his future in basketball would be a lot better for him. But if he keeps working hard, he could have a chance if he really wants it.