NORTH DAKOTA– We move into preview mode for one of North Dakota’s only programs on the Prep Hoops Next Circuit, ECI Basketball who has brought multiple teams to the Prep Hoops Next Circuit in our inaugural season. We caught up with ECI Basketball Program Director Lucas Moormann to go over what ECI Basketball is all about!
Program Name: ECI Basketball
Location: North Dakota, pulling kids from farm communities to the larger cities throughout the state. ECI has also had kids from Minnesota and Montana in their program.
Founded: 2004 by Dan Hodgson.
ECI Meaning: Every Child’s Important
Program Levels: 11U-17U
Moormann’s Basketball Background
We chatted with Lucas Moormann about his basketball background from high school to college basketball and what got him started in youth basketball, and much more!
High School: Moormann played basketball at Dickinson (ND). He also won Mr. Basketball & Gatorade Player of the Year in North Dakota in the 2003-2004 season for the Dickinson Midgets.
College Ball: Moormann continued his basketball career at North Dakota State from the 2004-2009 seasons. In 2009, he and the Bison were Summit League champions and got NDSU’s first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament.
Best Basketball Memory: Playing Kansas in the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis with North Dakota State’s first-ever trip to the big dance as a Division I program versus basketball blue-blood, the Kansas Jayhawks. Moormann played alongside Albert Lea, Minn native and sharpshooter Ben Woodside who went for 37 points against the three seeded Kansas Jayhawks back in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Getting Started in Youth Basketball: Moormann was introduced to ECI Basketball in 2010 when he was brought in by University of Mary head men’s basketball coach Joe Kittell to coach to get started coaching in the ECI program. After a few years of coaching ECI, Moormann took over as program director in 2014.
Program Pillars of ECI: To understand what it takes to play at the next level and hitting on skill development in a team-oriented space.
ECI has sent a ton of kids to play at the college level. They have all of their alumni players listed on their website, but I will go over some of the Division I names out of ECI Basketball from the last ten years:
Grant Nelson | Devils Lake, ND | NDSU (2020)
Grayson Haman | Fargo, ND (Davies) | NDSU (2020)
Maleeck Harden | Moorhead, MN | NDSU (2019)
Jordan Meidinger | Dickinson, ND | NDSU (2017)
Blaze Irwin | Wahpeton, ND | Minot State/NDSU (2015)
AJ Jacobson | Fargo, ND (Shanley) | NDSU (2013)
Dexter Werner | Bismarck, ND | NDSU (2012)
Justin McCloud | Bottineau, ND | Illinois State (2012)
Joe Hanstad | Dickinson, ND | Boise State (2011)
Click here to learn more about the players ECI Basketball has sent to play college basketball!
Players to Watch
These are the players to watch across the Prep Hoops Next Circuit this spring and summer from ECI Basketball.
Class of 2025 (8th Graders)
Pearce Parks | Grand Forks, ND | Class of 2025 | 14U Meissner
POS/Height: Guard, 6’0
Coach’s Take on Pearce:
Pearce is an all-out athlete for this 14U Meissner squad. He is a solid shooter that is highly versatile anywhere he is on the court. Pearce has a maturity in his game that plays a lot stronger than most kids his age.
Parks stands at 6’0 right now, but don’t be surprised to see him get another growth spurt. As a football scout for Prep Redzone Dakotas too, I am well aware of Pearce’s older brother Paine Parks who is on our Class of 2022 rankings & is a 6’3 215-pound defensive end for Grand Forks Red River and also plays shooting guard for the RoughRiders too.
Presley Peraza | Kindred, ND | Class of 2025 | 14U Meissner
POS/Height: Forward, 6’3
Coach’s Take on Presley:
Presley is a 6’3 big for us that already can dunk the basketball. Presley is a super bouncy player on the jump. His bread and butter is finishing at the rim and is one defensively that can alter most kid’s shots due to his long arms.
Aric Winczewski | Minot, ND | Class of 2025 | 14U Winczewski
POS/Height: Guard, 5’7
Coach’s Take on Aric:
Aric has excellent basketball genes as the son of Minot head boy’s basketball coach Dean Winczewski. Aric shoots the ball exceptionally well and is a clutch defender. Basketball is in Aric’s blood, as he has played it for a long time and grew up around it his entire life.
Class of 2026 (7th Graders)
Garrett Nissley | Bismarck, ND | Class of 2025 | 13U West Nissley
POS/Height: Point Guard, 5’5
Coach’s Take on Garrett:
Garrett has tremendous range and has really started stroking it from three as of recently. Garrett can read the floor better than many kids I have watched in this age group. He has solid handles and is a tremendous passer.
Beckett Pfau | West Fargo, ND | Class of 2026 | 13U East Miller
POS/Height: Guard, 5’6
Coach’s Take on Beckett:
Beckett is a super athletic guard for 13U East Miller. Beckett finishes strong at the bucket and has an excellent outside shot too. Beckett also is a strong ball-handler and is described as a formidable player across the board. Another ECI prospect with family ties to the game of basketball, as his older brother Creighton, played his grassroots career for ECI (Class of 2016) and college basketball & football at Mayville State.
His older brother Creighton is also currently pushing for an NFL path with the NFL Draft coming up and the NFL offseason right around the corner after a successful career with the Mayville State Comets.
Sam Glandt | West Fargo, ND | Class of 2026 | 13U East Miller
POS/Height: Point Guard, 5’7
Glant will more than likely be in the same backcourt as Beckett Pfau for many years, both coming out of Cheney Middle School in West Fargo.
Coach’s Take on Sam:
Sam is a lefty point guard that brings the energy you want out of your team’s starting point guard. Sam has excellent court awareness as the minister of the offense. He also is a good finisher when he’s taking his talents to the bucket.
Check it out here for the rest of the rosters across the ECI Basketball program!
ECI Basketball will play most of their tournaments this summer through a four-state radius of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska with the stops in Minnesota and Nebraska on the Prep Hoops Next Circuit. ECI Basketball will also pair up with NW Minnesota’s West Central United for the Border Battle in the Fargo/Moorhead Area on May 22nd-23rd.
ECI Basketball on Joining the Prep Hoops Circuit
During my time with Prep Hoops, I have watched a few ECI Basketball teams play on the Prep Hoops Circuit, but I was intrigued to hear why they are now joining us with Prep Hoops Next:
“We wanted to play better competition and to see what else is out there,” Moormann told Prep Hoops Next about joining the Prep Hoops Next Circuit. Moormann also mentioned, “We play well in tournaments in our cities and towns, but we wanted to take our talents to the highest level.” With that better competition coming this spring and summer for ECI Basketball, they stated it’s essential to “get our weaknesses exposed” to really figure into how good they are and what they need to work on as a team. They also joined the Prep Hoops Next Circuit to have a set tournament schedule and to get the kids out there to see something different while traveling throughout the Midwest, playing the region’s best of the best prospects.
We welcome ECI Basketball to the Prep Hoops Next Circuit & we’ll see you in the gym very soon!