Cody Schilling becomes all-time leading scorer at Augustana: Schilling is about more than recordsSIOUX FALLS, S.D. — It’s fitting for Augustana College’s Cody Schilling — an Ellsworth native — to have broken the all-time scoring record for the Vikings with a jumper while being fouled. As he has throughout his career with the Vikings, Schilling wanted more for his squad. A jumper wouldn’t do without some contact and a free throw to go with it.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — It’s fitting for Augustana College’s Cody Schilling — an Ellsworth native — to have broken the all-time scoring record for the Vikings with a jumper while being fouled. As he has throughout his career with the Vikings, Schilling wanted more for his squad. A jumper wouldn’t do without some contact and a free throw to go with it.
As Schilling’s free throw fell through the net to give him 1,831 points for his career on Feb. 29, surpassing Carl Gonder’s nearly 30-year record of 1,830 from 1980 to 1984, Schilling was still thinking about his team.
“Honestly, I only needed five points going into the game, so I knew it would come if I just played my game,” Schilling said. “To be honest, I just wanted to win the game.
“It was one of those things I wasn’t too worried about. I knew if I just played my game and be solid, the points thing would happen.”
After the free throw, Schilling made sure to make the record his own, adding 22 more points to put him at 1,853.
Schilling is no stranger to the record books, breaking the all-time career points and assists records of any high school player to ever pick up a basketball in Minnesota while playing for Ellsworth from 2004 through 2008. He helped lead the Panthers to back-to-back Class A state championships and a 63-3 record during his junior and senior seasons.
D-I schools came knocking, but Schilling wanted more.
“Augustana promised me a chance to come and fight for a starting spot immediately,” Schilling said. “A lot of the mid-major D-I schools were talking about walking on and maybe getting a scholarship within two years.
“The reason I came to Augustana was because they were looking for an identity and I wanted to help be that identity. I came to Augustana to help put them on the map.”
Schilling averaged 11.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game en route to winning the NSIC freshman of the year and helping Augustana win 21 games. As a sophomore, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds leading the Vikings to a 24-7 mark. In both seasons, the Vikings fell just short of the Elite Eight in the D-II tournament.
As a junior, Schilling won the NSIC scoring title, netting 21.2 points per game, as Augustana did not make the NCAA tournament.
Schilling is averaging 17.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season for Augustana.
Schilling’s scoring record had a bittersweet taste. The record came in a defeat to MSU Moorhead in the opening round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament in what felt like the last game Schilling would play with the Vikings, seeing as the team finished 17-10 and an NCAA tournament bid looked like a long shot.
Sunday, however, Augustana was selected as the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Division-II tournament and will face No. 1-seeded Colorado School of Mines, which is ranked No. 2 among D-II schools, Saturday.
“I thought my career was over, but we got lucky and we snuck in with the eighth seed,” Schilling said. “It’s exciting.”
Although it was given new life, Schilling’s career at Augustana will be coming to an end after this season. His basketball life may never end. Schilling plans to graduate from Augustana, play basketball overseas before coming back to the states to teach and coach the game he loves.
Just as he plays for the team, he’s already coaching for someone else before he’s touched a clipboard.
“It’s all about the kids,” Schilling said. “I work some summer basketball camps and just watching the kids develop and get better is great.
“Basketball is my passion and I’ve been blessed to play with so many good coaches, it would be a blessing to give back.”
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.