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Parents say Josh Gasser obsessed with sports from a very young age

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PORT WASHINGTON (WITI) — Josh Gasser is a junior Badgers guard who has helped to lead the team through the NCAA Tournament. This, after he missed his entire 2012-2013 season with a torn ACL that required surgery. This season, Gasser ranks fifth on the team in scoring. Gasser comes to Madison from Port Washington — where he was a star at Port Washington High School. There is a lot of excitement in Port Washington as the Badgers gear up for their Final Four game on Saturday.

On the shores of Lake Michigan lies Port Washington — known for its lighthouse and small town charm.

In an upstairs bedroom of a modest home there, sits a shrine of sorts.

“Since he`s left I don`t think we`ve touched it. Most of them are basketball. He`s got a couple baseball ones in there,” Gasser’s father, Pat Gasser said as he showed FOX6 News a display filled with Gasser’s trophies.

Pat Gasser is a proud father and one-time coach. His son Josh is the standout shooting guard for the Wisconsin Badgers.

“Still kind of like surreal. Like are we really going to the Final Four?” Pat Gasser said.

Gasser is the youngest of four siblings — with three sisters in the house, sometimes it was mom stepping in to play sports with Josh.

“He’d pitch to me. I’d be the catcher, and I’ve have to call balls and strikes to the imaginary hitter — and he would never be happy with my calls. If he walked anyone he would have a fit,” Gasser’s mother, Joan Gasser said.

Obsessed with sports from an early age, Gasser’s parents say he is most miserable when losing.

“He didn’t want to lose at Checkers. He just wants to win at everything he does. Doesn’t matter what it is,” Pat Gasser said.

Known for his dedication and toughness, Gasser’s parents say thick skin appears to be a born trait.

“If he were to get hurt, it would be like — like we’re playing football in the road — just the two of us, and he fell and broke his arm. Never cried. He came up to me and I’m like, ‘you’re okay, you’re okay’ and he lifted his arm, and he had a right angle broken arm. And he was just like I think he was more mad he dropped the ball,” Pat Gasser said.

Some pain can’t be played through. Gasser’s parents found out last season — with a call from the Badgers’ trainer.

“I saw his name on the caller ID and knew it wasn’t a good reason why his name would show up,” Joan Gasser said.

Two days after being named the starting point guard, Gasser went down with a torn ACL.

“He was crushed. He was really crushed. He didn’t talk for weeks. Yeah,” Pat Gasser said.

His season was over — and Gasser underwent surgery.

“You move on, and that’s what he did. That’s what we said. It’s just a detour and that’s what it’s been,” Joan Gasser said.

A detour — followed by hard work has earned Gasser a comeback story for the ages.

Now, the small town star is about to shine on the biggest stage in college hoops — another memory he can add to his lifetime of success.