In the winter of 1995, as the Muscatine High School basketball season came to a close, Josh Miller realized that he was within reach of Brian Westlake’s career scoring record. Miller reflected on all the shots in his driveway and at the Y. “I didn’t think I was going to break Brian’s record,” Miller said. “But when I got to 1,000 points towards the end of the season, I realized I could do it.”
Miller set the record against Burlington High School in 1995 and finished his Muscatine career with 1,067 total points. Miller’s sharpshooting didn’t stop in high school. He moved on to Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. When Miller graduated from Ambrose, he was number two on the all-time scoring list and earned first team all-American honors.
“I just was very competitive,” said Miller. Growing up, Miller had brothers and cousins who were always playing sports and competing. “If I wasn’t playing basketball in the St. Mathias parking lot, I was at the Y. Or we were playing something else.” The Miller family of cousins would often congregate at Iowa field for pick-up football games and soccer matches. “I was hyper-competitive, sometimes probably too competitive,” Miller said.
Miller recalled playing against the older guys at the Y during noon ball and in the summer time. “I would play against Brett Olson and Steve Wieskamp at the Y. It was good to play against those guys.” Wieskamp and Olson were standouts for the Muskies. Olson walked on at the University of Iowa and Wieskamp began his academic and basketball career at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa. This past Tuesday night, Steve Wieskamp was in the stands watching his second oldest son, Joe, break Miller’s career scoring record against the very team Miller had broken the record on, Burlington.
Junior shooting guard Joe Wieskamp earned first team all-conference as a freshman for the Muskies and garnered all-state recognition last year as a sophomore. This season, Wieskamp knew that the career scoring mark was in reach. “I knew I would probably break it this year, but it wasn’t my primary goal coming into the season,” Wieskamp said. Much like Miller, the record was, for Wieskamp, a byproduct of a successful journey.
In Tuesday’s game, when Wieskamp already had 35 first half points, his teammates started to let him know about it. “Guys were talking about it in the locker room, so I knew I had a chance,” said Wieskamp. “I had a personal goal to get 40 points in a game.”
In the third quarter, when the Muskies had a good lead, Coach Gary Belger put Wieskamp back in the game two points shy of Miller’s 1,067 points. On the secondary break Wieskamp caught the ball on the left wing and the 6’6” junior elevated and drained a 3-pointer to break the career point record, and break the record for most points scored in a game. Wieskamp scored 50 points on just 21 shots. He added eight rebounds and three steals. “I just knew they couldn’t stop me, and my teammates just kept finding me in the right spot.”
Miller was at home when he received the text from a friend that Joe had broken his record. Miller was happy for Wieskamp. “He’s a great player. It was great to have the record for 20 years.” Wieskamp is on pace to end his career as one of the most prolific scorers in Iowa high school basketball history.