The Duquesne men’s basketball team could be sporting a couple more gray hairs this season. In addition to the traditional incoming freshmen, the Dukes have added experienced talent to this year’s squad.
One of those is graduate transfer Kale Abrahamson from Drake. The 6-foot-8 forward originally was recruited to Northwestern, where he played two seasons. The process of moving around, however, was not one in which he had much control.
“(It’s been) kind of just bad luck. The original coach that recruited me got fired, and it was kind of a snowball effect from there,” Abrahamson said. “It’s crazy. I never thought this was going to happen. I almost wish it wouldn’t have, but God has a plan and I’m excited to be where I am. It’s been a journey.”
His best season came in his season at Drake after sitting out in 2014-15. He averaged about 10 minutes more than his previous years and improved his accuracy, especially at the free-throw line, where he shot 68.2 percent. His season was highlighted by a 41-point game against Western Kentucky and a 30-point outing versus Abilene Christian.
Despite the performances, Abrahamson lost his starting role in late February amidst lower-scoring games.
Abrahamson, who is taking part in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league alongside other local college and professional players, quickly is getting immersed into the Duquesne program.
Fitting in with a new team for the final year of his college career could be seen as a challenge, and being one of two graduate students has made the transition an interesting process.
“They already think I’m a grandpa,” Abrahamson said with a laugh. “I think maybe I’m (one of the leaders) because I’m one of the older members of the team.
“The guys have been cool, and that’s the biggest part of it — just getting to know the guys and having a ball with them — and I think that’s going really well.”
For coach Jim Ferry, the experience Abrahamson brings cannot be overvalued. It’s a big part of why Abrahamson ended up being a Duke. Ferry first saw him last season at a tournament Drake and Duquesne played in.
“He’s been in big games. He’s made big baskets. … There is a maturity about him as a person. We can lean on him for his maturity and experience to be a leader of our program,” Ferry said.
While ending up at Duquesne was not what he had planned, at this point he is ready to make the best of the unexpected. The goal for his final season? Something that has become simple.
“I just want to win,” Abrahamson said. “I think it’s hard to win in any league. It’s been a frustrating few years just because there are a lot of good teams out there. I think we have a good team, and we can be successful. I just want to win, that’s it.”