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Article updated: 11/20/2013 1:32 AM
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Bright future — and present — for Fremd's Gorecki
 

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Bright future — and present — for Fremd's Gorecki
  • Fremd's Haley Gorecki drives to the basket for a layup against Rolling Meadows during last season's Mid-Suburban League championship game in Palatine.

    Purchase Photo | Fremd's Haley Gorecki drives to the basket for a layup against Rolling Meadows during last season's Mid-Suburban League championship game in Palatine. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Haley Gorecki drives for a layup with Ashley Montanez of Rolling Meadows defending during last season's Mid-Suburban League championship game.

    Purchase Photo | Fremd's Haley Gorecki drives for a layup with Ashley Montanez of Rolling Meadows defending during last season's Mid-Suburban League championship game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

Fremd senior Haley Gorecki fills up a stat sheet unlike any player Dave Yates has coached.

"She rebounds, gets steals, piles up assists, and of course, scores," said the Vikings girls basketball coach, whose team has won the last four Mid-Suburban West championships, the last two with Gorecki playing a major role.

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Many of the top D-I college coaches, including Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, would love to have Gorecki playing a role for their teams.

But that won't be for a while.

Gorecki still has two seasons left playing for the Vikings, who she has helped to an MSL crown and two West titles.

"I am very excited for this season at Fremd," Gorecki said. "We have a new group of girls so the makeup of the team will be a bit different."

Gorecki is in a different situation than most players. She has colleges from across the country hoping she can join the makeup of their teams down the road.

Among the list of schools are Marquette, DePaul, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Duke, Louisville, UCLA, and Connecticut.

"She has visited most and is working on shortening her list," Yates aid. "We were honored to have numerous college coaches attend our open gyms this fall."

Yates feels honored to be able to coach Gorecki.

"The best quality about Haley is her humbleness," Yates said.

Just talking to Gorecki, you might never guess she was one of the country's elite recruits.

"One of her science teachers was stunned to learn how good a basketball player she was," Yates said. "This teacher just saw her as a very-hard working student.

"That is something that I have heard from her teammates on any team (AAU or high school). Her ego is not involved in any decisions she makes on the court. It is all about making the right play."

Gorecki has been working on making the right plays for as long as she can remember.

She started playing basketball when she was about 4 years old, following in the footsteps of her brother Adam.

At that time, she played on a boys team since there wasn't a girls team.

"I always wanted to do what my brother did," she said. "And that was playing basketball."

Her favorite part about basketball is the competitiveness and being part of a team.

"I also enjoy the speed of the game," she said. "I remember playing softball and just standing around. But in basketball you are always on the move. That is why I also played soccer for nine years, it is similar to basketball in style."

But not too many players have the basketball skills of Gorecki, who can do it all. She can beat you with a drive to the basket or she can hit the 3-pointer. Or she can find a teammate in an instant with a pinpoint pass.

"Haley has some unique qualities that separate her from most," Yates said. "She has court vision and passing ability that is unreal."

She had those skills even before she bounced a ball in the Fremd gymnasium.

"I remember a referee finding me in a different gym and telling me I need to go see the sixth grader (Gorecki) throwing one-handed full court bounce passes on the break," Yates said. "Some elite players can score or rebound at a very high level. Haley is that elite player who can also make those around her better."

Many coaches have helped make Gorecki a better player.

"The people that really inspired me to be the player I am today are my coaches," she said. "They really made me who I am today and I wouldn't be where I am without them. Starting with John Ulrich, Mary Kay Monaghan, Mike Sherkey, Tom Hohenadel, Mr. Yates, Ralph Gesualdo (Midwest Elite) and, of course, my parents (Adam and Denise)."

Gorecki's favorite player is the Los Angeles Laker' Steve Nash, who like Gorecki, is most noted for his playmaking, ball-handling skills and shooting.

"He is a player that I look up to and admire because he is such a unique basketball player," Gorecki said. "I can relate to him because we play the same position."

Gorecki also excels in the classroom, where she a National Honor Society member and has participated in the school's Service Over Self program.

Her favorite subject is math.

"So maybe I will pick a major around that because I like figuring things out,' she said.

She is still trying to figure out what college she will attend.

"I have narrowed my college choices down, but it is a very hard process and I will see where it takes me," Gorecki said. "Playing Division 1 basketball has always been a dream of mine. Continuing to play basketball after high school would be amazing. Even though it will be tough, I feel I am up for the challenge."

There's no doubt Gorecki has been up to the challenge thus far in high school.

Even an ankle injury midway through last season couldn't stop her from finishing out her sophomore year in strong fashion.

"I am excited about this season because we have even more guards and the tempo of our game will be faster," Gorecki said. "It will be a ton of fun to play with the new girls along with our seniors."

And Gorecki will be working as hard as ever to make sure the Vikings can be at their best.

"Haley works very hard at the game of basketball," Yates said. "One of her neighbors stopped me a few years ago and told me he knew why she is such a good player.

"He proceeded to tell me that she is shooting on her hoop and working on finishes at the rim in her yard all the time. She has the drive to always improve, and keep getting better."

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