5 local Division I basketball players enter transfer portal

Apr. 15—ROCHESTER — Five area Division I college basketball players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the 2023-24 season.

Rochester's Mason Madsen has left Boston College after a strong season and the Mayo High School grad will join his twin brother, Gabe, for a final season of college basketball at the University of Utah.

Mason Madsen, a 6-foot-4 guard, appeared in 36 games for Boston College during the 2023-24 campaign. He made 15 starts and averaged a career-best 8.1 points to go along with 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He ranked second on the team in 3-pointers made with 60. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic team.

Gabe Madsen, a 6-5 guard, was third on the Utes in scoring at 12.8 points per game last season and he also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He made 103 3-pointers. The brothers both started their college careers at the University of Cincinnati.

—Lake City's Nate Heise has transferred from Northern Iowa University and he has already decided to play at Iowa State University in 2024-25.

Heise, a 6-5 guard, is a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility remaining. He started all 32 games for the Panthers this past season and was named third-team All-Missouri Valley League after averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

—Two players transferring hail from Byron. Sophomore Ahjany Lee is leaving St. Thomas University after two seasons with the Tommies.

Lee, a 6-9 forward, averaged 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the Tommies this past season and led the team with 18 blocked shots. He averaged 13 minutes per game, but played a total of 11 minutes during the final four games of the season.

Lee had averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds as a freshman and had a team-high 23 blocked shots.

After helping Byron earn a state tournament berth as a junior, Lee transferred to Totino-Grace High School as a senior where he helped the team win a Class 3A state championship in 2022.

—Byron's Sacia Vanderpool is transferring from the University of Wisconsin where she spent the last two seasons playing women's basketball.

Vanderpool, a 6-4 redshirt sophomore, participated in Wisconsin's Senior Day ceremony this year due to graduating early. She departs Wisconsin as a grad transfer, but has two years of eligibility remaining.

She appeared in four games this season and made one start, on Senior Day, and scored two points. She played in five games during her Wisconsin career and scored six points and had two rebounds.

—Kasson-Mantorville grad Aby Shubert is transferring from the Xavier University women's baksetball team after her true freshman season.

Shubert, a 5-8 guard, played in 20 games for an Xavier team that finished just 1-27 and she made one start. She scored a total of 22 points and had 10 rebounds.

Shubert still has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

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The John Marshall baseball team will pay tribute to former Rockets coach Lou Branca prior to a game against city rival Mayo on Tuesday, April 16. Branca died in January of 2023 at the age of 94.

The game will be played at John Adams Middle School and the tribute will be at 4:45 p.m. prior to the 5 p.m. start. A number of former John Marshall players are expected to attend.

Branca was the head baseball coach at John Marshall for 20 years, from the spring of 1967 until 1986. He guided the Rockets to three Big Nine Conference titles in that span. He had previously led Faribault to a Big Nine Conference title.

Branca won more than 300 games as a baseball coach at JM.

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A Southeast Minnesota All Sports Reunion will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, April 21 at Charlie's Eatery and Pub in Rochester. The event is being organized by former area sports official Jeff Wills.

"It's a time to bring the old and current ADs (activities directors), coaches, referees, table workers, media and kind of reminisce and reconnect," Wills said.

The event is open to the public and this marks the third year it has taken place. Last year about 100 people attended. Wills said the event has grown each year and he is hoping for at least 125 attendees this year.

Wills said a lot of officials and activities directors attend. He started the event and has several others who help him out. He is a former official who worked area games for 29 years.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at