NEW LONDON — Brant Wrede had his life all planned out.
The 2015 graduate of West Burlington High School and 2019 graduate of Grand View University graduate married his high school sweetheart, Michaela Diaz, earlier this year. The couple planned to move to Los Angeles, where Brant was going to be a talent manager and Michaela was going to be stylist.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the young couple’s plans.
Instead, the West Burlington graduates moved back to Burlington and will start their life together in southeast Iowa.
Michaela recently landed a job as a server at The Drake, while Brant will be a substitute teacher.
Wrede will get a chance to reach back to his roots in another fashion this winter. He recently was hired as an assistant boys basketball coach for New London, where he will work with head coach Bryant Porter to develop a young Tigers team loaded with talent.
It wasn’t the plan Wrede had in mind, but he is playing the hand he was dealt and looking forward to getting back and giving back to high school sports.
“We are going to stay around the area for at least a year or so, until things get back to at least somewhat normal,” Wrede said. “I saw New London was hiring an assistant basketball coach, but then it was taken down so I figured the job was filled. Then I saw the posting went back up, so I got with Bryant Porter and he told me to apply for it. I got an interview with athletics director Ben Fry and I got hired.”
Wrede, who averaged 4.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and one steal per game for the Falcons as a senior in the 2014-15 season, was a four-sport athlete for the Falcons.
Wrede’s father, Jeff Wrede, is a long-time coach and athletics director who currently teaches and coaches at West Branch High School.
Wrede will work with a New London team which advanced to a Class 1A district final last year and finished with a 16-8 record. The Tigers feature two of the top sophomore prospects in the state in Blaise Porter and Kade Benjamin. The Tigers have eight underclassmen returning and a solid group of incoming freshmen ready to fill in the gaps.
“They have a lot of raw talent up and down the roster I have been to a few open gyms and five-on-fives and they really take it seriously. They want to go. They have great numbers for open gyms, which is something you don’t see at a lot of schools,” Wrede said. “They have a lot of young talent. I will do what I can to help them improve. There is always room for improvement. I will work with them on the different kids of shots, like off the dribble jump shots and help them get familiar with things like that. I am looking forward to getting started.”