Mason Schoen has accomplished all his Kansas State goals

Mason Schoen KSU

When looking at the bio for Mason Schoen on the Kansas State men’s basketball web site, don’t look for the typical stats for a guard, like points, assists or steals.

Instead, look at the accolades he’s earned and you’ll learn all you need to know about Mason Schoen, the senior from Blue Valley Northwest High School.

He’s been on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll every semester through his first three seasons, and was a National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Honors Court recipient and a first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection last season.

Mason Schoen has already graduated with a degree in finance, and is close to a second degree in marketing. He’s working toward his MBA.

“I’m not on scholarship, but that’s okay with me,” he said. “I knew what I was getting myself into when I walked on the team. My goal since day one was to absorb as much knowledge as possible, because my dream from the beginning was to coach basketball at the Division I level. I knew coming here that getting a scholarship was not my biggest priority.

“I wanted to make as many connections as I could, learn the system the best I could and help my team as much as I could.”

Mason Schoen never really considered attending anywhere but Kansas State, even though he had scholarship offers from several Division II Kansas colleges.

“K-State has always run through my blood. Both of my parents went there, all my aunts and uncles graduated from there. I’ve been a huge K-State fan from day one.

“We’ve come to every football game possible since I was born, and most of the basketball games as well. I was fortunate enough to be at so many sporting events and support the school I’ve always loved.”

If that story—and name—sounds familiar, it should. Mason’s younger brother, Dalton, is a sophomore walk-on with the football team, and we featured him in Kansas City Sports & Fitness this fall. While Dalton chose the football route, Mason has always focused on basketball.

“I played baseball and football, as well as basketball, in high school,” he said. “I stopped playing football when I was younger, but I played baseball and basketball all the way through.

“I’ve always had a great love for basketball. I developed that when I was younger, because I could practice it on my own. I would go to the gym for hours and work on my game. It’s tough to do that with most other sports. It helped having a younger brother who would come with me. We played a lot of one-on-one. We did shooting drills, ball-handling drills and worked on our defense together. That helped a lot.”

The older Schoen is happy for his brother, who was awarded a scholarship for the spring semester after a very productive second season.

“I’m really proud of him for that. He’s more than deserving. I’m excited to see what comes of his last two years with the football team. He worked very hard and contributed on the football field, so he’s enjoying his time at K-State.”

That was not expected when Dalton arrived at K-State. Having a brother who had been through the walk-on routine was beneficial.

“I definitely talked with him before he walked on at K-State, because I wanted him to know what he was getting himself into,” Mason said. “He was in a similar situation, where he had some scholarship offers at smaller schools. But he had a huge love for K-State and he had dreamed to play at K-State. We both were willing to give up a scholarship at a smaller school to live out our dream of playing at Kansas State.”

Being a walk-on is not easy. You have all the demands of being a regular student, with the expectations of being a student-athlete. However, you don’t have a scholarship

“I would say it takes a special type of character to be a walk-on,” Mason Schoen said. “I definitely think you need a good mixture of skills to be an athlete and a student. In reality, you’re paying for your own school. You can play ball and enjoy your time, but there is no slacking off.

“At the end of the day, school is on my dime. I think it takes a special kind of character to uphold the demands of athletic and academic achievements. It’s not an easy task. If you can find a person who can balance it out, you have a good walk-on.”

Most college athletes are not thinking about legacy while they’re still in school. They’re thinking about scoring points and trying to reach the next level. But that’s not Mason Schoen. He wants the next level to be coaching.

“I want my legacy is to be someone who brought their best every single day, whether it was on the court, in the classroom, in the weight room or in the community,” he said. “I want to make sure I’m doing my best to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be and be the best student I can be. When it comes down to it, my four years are going to be over soon, and all I’ll have left is the legacy that I leave.

“Hopefully, after this season is done, I can start applying to graduate schools and maybe get on somewhere as a grad assistant. I would love to stay here at K-State, but there are no openings. I will lean on my work ethic.

“Everything I’ve accomplished to this point has been driven by my work-ethic. I know that same work-ethic will take me to the top, whether that’s through studying hours of film, working out with a player early in the morning or late at night, or getting in the weight room with a player. I will do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

The jersey for Mason Schoen won’t hang in the Bramlage Coliseum rafters. But he is definitely a basketball player the K-State program can be proud of for years to come.

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Article by David Smale

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