High school career
Koenig attended Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin. As a sophomore, Koenig averaged 17 points and 3 assists per game. He had been named First Team All-State after leading Aquinas to the 2010 Division III State Championship. He missed much of his junior season due to an injury. In his senior campaign, he again led his team to a state title and was named Wisconsin Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Koenig scored 16 points in the title game. He averaged 17.0 points and 4.4 assists per game as a senior, shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. Koenig was a McDonald's All American nominee.
Koenig was moved into the Badgers starting lineup throughout the 2014–15 season after an injury to point guard Traevon Jackson on January 11, 2015. He averaged 11.6 points per game as a starting guard.
In the second round of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Xavier Musketeers, Koenig made a game-tying three-pointer with 11.7 seconds left. Then, after a Xavier offensive foul, he made another three-pointer at the buzzer to give Wisconsin a 66-63 victory. Koenig finished the game with 20 points. After the win, he said, “I like to have the ball in my hands in those kinds of situations because I believe in myself.”
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Koenig is the son of Paul Koenig and Ethel Funmaker. He is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and is only one of 42 Division 1 NCAA Basketball players who identify as Native American. The Ho-Chunk Nation once spanned from Illinois to Nebraska. Notwithstanding in the 1800s, the nation was stripped of much of its land and reservations were formed in Nebraska and Wisconsin, not far from where Koenig grew up. He is opposed to using Indian names as mascots, and is particularly against the Washington Redskins. Most recently in the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, Koenig was praised for his leadership on and off the court. After hitting the game winning shot against Xavier, Koenig said in an interview "That was for all my natives." He used this platform and attention from the press to speak out against these Indian names as mascots. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Koenig stated, "With the mascots and all that stuff I think people think its OK to make fun of us...I feel like at times we're the lowest of the low amongst the minorities...and when a Native American kid sees that growing up and see disrespect, it lowers their self-esteem and puts them in a lower place in society." In his remarks about the Washington Redskins, Koenig asks the questions, "Is our skin Red? Would it be OK for the Kansas City Negroes or the Blackskins?" He believes there's unfair treatment and disregard for political correctness towards Native Americans in our society and that's the point the Wisconsin Badger strives to drive home with his efforts. Koenig is continuing to improve in his basketball career while additionally serving as a role model for native youths across the country.
For further information regarding Koenig's stance on this issue and his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview, please visit the following pages: