Midtgaard strives to be ‘the guy who does all the other things’


Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State’s Asbjørn Midtgaard walks onto the court at the start of their game against Catawba on Oct. 30, 2018.

Sophomore Asbjørn Midtgaard (Pronounced Azz-bYORN MIT-Guard) didn’t experience much of a culture shock when he came to the United States.

Midtgaard is from Denmark, a country defined by the people, he said — people who are warm, friendly and inviting.

“That’s why it wasn’t as much of a culture shock,” Midtgaard said. “I feel like the people here have that same attitude.”

Midtgaard was recruited to Wichita State by a former coach who visited Denmark and saw Midtgaard’s size, and the potential that size could bring.

“I think my biggest strength is being the guy who does all the other things — set the screens, get the rebounds, know the players, execute well — be the smart player,” Midtgaard said.

This year, Midtgaard is WSU’s sole returning big man.

“They call me a veteran,” Midtgaard said. “I know the plays the new players don’t. I’m going to show them how we do things.”Off the court, Midtgaard doesn’t do much, he said. He is, in his own words, boring.

“I’m just a regular guy,” Midtgaard said. “I do normal stuff. There’s nothing really interesting, if I’m being honest. I’m not the kind of guy who gets out and all that. I like staying home. I keep it nice and chill and all that. I watch a movie, play some video games, and what not. That’s what I like. I’m a chill guy.”

That means he can focus on sports. Sports have always been a big part of Midtgaard’s life.

And it hasn’t always been basketball. From soccer to team handball — an Olympic sport — he has bounced from sport to sport.

“I did all kinds of things,” Midtgaard said. “And then, when I was around 14 or something, I tried basketball.”

It clicked immediately.

“It was fun; it was fast paced,” Midtgaard said. “You have to be a smart player to be successful. It’s not all about how athletic you are or how many shots you make.”

Midtgaard is not a three-point shooter or someone putting up a ton of points. But it’s all the other things he does that make him a big part of the team. “I’m going to set that screen,” Midtgaard said. “I’m going to set the greatest screen of all time, so [my teammates] can get over and shoot that clutch three.”

And his words of advice to anyone who looks up to him as a person or player?

“Stay in school.”