NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- In a trying season for a young New Providence boys basketball team that right now has only one senior starter, junior Carsten Schumm has been a revelation.

The 6-7 center has impressed with his increasingly consistent performances both as an interior offensive force and as a rebounder.

In his first season getting significant varsity minutes, Schumm is averaging 9.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Over his last three games, he's averaged 13.3 points and 12.0 rebounds.

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Schumm has been named the Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week.

"I knew going into the season that Carsten had a lot of potential after his sophomore year," said New Providence head coach Art Cattano. "He just needed to get stronger. The jump he's made from last year to this year has been incredible."

Schumm, who possesses a lot of traditional low-post skills that are becoming increasingly rare in high school basketball, has had to take on more of the scoring responsibilities lately with senior guard Sean Dillon--the team's leading scorer and most experienced player--sidelined for the last two weeks with an injury.

"You can see every day in practice Carsten's confidence and aggressiveness in the low post growing," Cattano said. "He's become quite a player to deal with inside, and he can handle the ball."

Schumm may have another inch or two of height to add before he's done growing, according to Cattano, who said his center has "really developed into a kid who wants the ball and fights for position to get it. He has really come a long way in that regard."

Schumm took time this week to answer a few questions from TAPinto New Providence.

Q: Have you seen your game change since your last year?  
A: My game hasn’t changed much between this year and last year but my confidence has increased since last year. I think one reason is because I play with a great group of players who allow me to focus on what I’m good at on the court.

Q: What has been the best advice you have received from a coach?
A: Don’t overthink the game and play with your instincts.

Q: What has been your most memorable game to date?
A: The GL Super Saturday game this year was a heart breaker for me and the team and it sparked a fire in me to work harder to improve.

Q: Are you aspiring to play basketball in college? Have you started to look at schools?
A: I’ve always wanted to play in college since I started playing basketball in third grade. It’s been a longtime goal of mine — but right now I’m focused on the rest of the high school season.

Q: What do you like most about New Providence High School?
A: I like how small the school is and how everyone knows each other. I think it makes us a really closely knit school and everyone helps each other out.

Q: Do you have a favorite subject?
A: My favorite class this year has been AP Physics 1 because it’s a challenging class where you have to problem solve. That’s something I’ve never had in class before so I’m really enjoying it.

Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: My favorite athlete is definitely Dirk Nowitzki just because he was always loyal to his team and humble. I think that him winning a championship “the right way” is something you have to respect.

Q: Do you have a role model?
A: My role model is Grady Eifert, who played for Purdue as a walk-on. I look up to him because he worked so hard for three years not knowing if he would get a chance or not. He really embodies everything that Purdue basketball is about and he always played super tough.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not playing a sport?
A: When I’m not playing a sport I l’m usually hanging out with friends but in the summer I like to go boating and spend time at the shore with my family.

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The Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors Pioneer Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Joe Eberle Weichert Realtors located at 64 Main Street in Chatham.  Joe is a 25 year New Providence resident who is an active member of the New Providence community. Contact Joe anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your real estate goals and dreams, or just to ask a question about the local market.  Joe can be reached at jeberle@weichert.com or call 908-868-4800