One of the most dynamic scorers in the history of Batavia girls basketball has settled on a college where she'll be playing for the best scorer in NCAA history.
Batavia senior Liza Fruendt, currently the school's second all-time leading scorer but a good bet to take the top spot this winter, committed last week to Missouri State.
The Lady Bears are coached by Kellie J Harper, a three-time national champion under legendary coach Pat Summit at Tennessee. One of the assistant coaches at Missouri State is none other than Jackie Stiles, who scored more points than any player in the history of women's college basketball.
Stiles is still the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, and Fruendt knows her exact career total -- 3,393 points, a number Baylor star Brittney Griner approached but did not break.
Fruendt plays a scoring point guard role that Stiles did.
"That is something that is really cool for me," Fruendt said. "When I was there I didn't know how I could pass this opportunity up."
Liza is the youngest of three Fruendts to parents Joel and Suzanne to come through Batavia. All three have gone on to play college basketball -- Nick, the second-leading scorer in Batavia boys history, to Northwestern, Sara to Dubuque, Iowa, and now Liza to Missouri State.
"If you really do want it you can achieve it," Liza Fruendt said. "I've wanted since I was a little kid (to get a college scholarship) and to see it come true and the process is over and now I know where I'm going is such a relief but it's also an amazing experience and an amazing feeling."
Fruendt called Missouri State, located in Springfield, Missouri, a "perfect fit."
"You want to go somewhere you can succeed and I feel I can go in and make an immediate impact," Fruendt said. "That's what is important. My parents and (Batavia) coach (Kevin) Jensen and myself looked at the reality of everything. It's not how big of a school you are going to, it's the opportunity you are going to get. I don't want to sit on the bench when I go to college. I want to go somewhere I know I can succeed and I can do things for the program."
Missouri State graduates its starting point guard this year, an opening that Fruendt is already looking forward to competing for. A two-time All-Area selection and last year's All-Area captain, Fruendt averaged 19.7 points a game as a junior, an increase from 14 the previous year. She scored 20 or more points 17 times.
All of Missouri State's coaches saw Fruendt during the summer. They offered her a scholarship in July, and Fruendt took her official visit last week and committed.
"It's not too big and it's not too small and that's what I was looking for," Fruendt said. "And it's a really big basketball school. Everyone around you knows you. When I walked around town with some of the girls people would know who they are. It's a really heavy tradition there which was really cool to me."
Missouri State was one of 14 schools that offered Fruendt a scholarship. Among the other finalists Fruendt considered were Miami of Ohio, Illinois State, Oakland, Northern Illinois and Loyola.
The decision to play close to home or go further away turned out to be one of the toughest.
"When I was there they asked me my biggest concern and honestly that was my only con, eight hours is pretty far away," Fruendt said. "I don't think that's a reason you should not to go to school if you really love it. And the Missouri Valley is really Midwest, that made me comfortable."
Fruendt said she's thinking of majoring in sports management or business. Coaching is something she would like to get into after college.
She will head into her senior season at Batavia with 1,155 career points poised to become the program's all-time scoring leader. She's also the reigning Player of the Year in the UEC River Division.