Missy Adrian is quite the player for Fremd's girls basketball team, and her talent did not go unnoticed by Bradley University's coaching staff, which found a spot on its roster for the senior guard.
But off the court, she's equally special, gaining pre-admittance into Bradley's seven-year doctorate physical therapy program and being nominated for the Illinois academic all-state team.
And how important are academics to Adrian?
She was recruited as a Division I soccer player, but Bradley does not have women's soccer so playing basketball was the next best thing for Adrian.
"I have played both basketball and soccer since I was little and love both sports," Adrian said. "I had always thought about playing a sport in college but when I was accepted at Bradley in its physical therapy program, that is when I thought seriously about the basketball team."
Adrian loved the campus in Peoria and the size of the school.
"I wanted to see which school was the best fit for my major and then decide on a sport to play there," she said. "The Bradley coaches and players welcomed me on the team and I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to learn physical therapy and play D-I basketball."
And she has enjoyed quite a ride at Fremd, playing on two teams that finished second in the Class 4A state tournament.
"I'm so lucky to have played for Dave Yates at Fremd and with all my great teammates," she said. "I'm looking forward to this challenge after high school."
Nick Ladas has never left his alma mater.
One of the most familiar faces in the Maine West gymnasium for the past 50-years plus, Ladas will soon be recognized for his contributions as the longtime boys basketball manager, a position he still holds.
Athletic director Jarett Kirschner informed Ladas that he will be honored on May 6 as the Class 3A/4A winner of the Illinois Athletic Directors Association's Friends of Athletics award.
"I was so surprised when he told me," said Ladas, who counts the Warriors' fourth-place finish in the Class AA tourney in 1998 as one of his most memorable moments.
The IADA recognizes contributions by individuals who are not athletes, athletic directors or coaches but still demonstrate an exceptional commitment to their programs.
That is Ladas to a tee. Congrats, Nick.
Louisville long snapper Brendan Lowery (Barrington) is on the honor roll this semester and has been since the fall of 2015.
Carthage freshman Maggie Berigan (Hersey) made her first college start in fine fashion as the Lady Reds defeated North Park 65-54.
In 23 minutes of action, Berigan scored 10 points (4-of-7 from the field with 2-of-2 free throws).
She also pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds (8 on defense) and had a game-high 3 blocked shots with 2 assists.
• Oakton Community College sophomore guard Mallory Gonzalez (Prospect) was selected as women's basketball District 4 'Player of the Week' for the Region IV National Junior College Athletic Association.
Oakton, which competes in Division II, went 1-1 last week, beating Elgin Community College 62-56 and falling to Prairie State College 65-36.
Gonzalez scored 28 points on 58.8 percent from the field, with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a 62-56 win over Elgin. She scored 18 points on 50 percent shooting with 3 assists and 2 steals in a 65-36 loss at Prairie State.
"Mallory's athleticism and basketball I.Q. allow her to put up double-digit scoring numbers like she has in more than 20 games in her career," said Oakton coach Melissa Rauschenberg.
In 12 games this year, Gonzalez is averaging 17.2 points, and her 19.5 points per 40 minutes ranks 32nd in the nation. She also ranks No. 32 in blocked shots with 14.
"We are very proud of what she does on the court for herself and her teammates," Rauschenberg added. "She really engages her whole team. She builds up her teammates in their confidence and assists them in successes of their own. They, in turn, reward her with extra passes to which they know she will score."
Gonzalez also earned Player of the Week honors as a freshman when she was named second team all-conference.
• Carthage junior Morgan Harris (Hersey) reached double-figure rebounds for the eighth time this season with 12 in a 67-66 loss at Millikin.
Lewis' Colin Williams (Elk Grove) was part of the Flyers' 400 yard medley relay team which finished first (3:22.40) on the first day at the Midwest Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago.
Women's track and field
Augustana senior Nora Bosslet (Fremd) picked up the Vikings' lone victory at the Spartan Invitational in Dubuque, Iowa, when she won the 3,000 in 11:26.22.
The Vikings placed fifth in the seven-team field at the A.Y. McDonald Indoor Track Complex with 48 points. Host Dubuque won with 138 points.
Augustana junior Eric Pohl (Fremd) teamed with Samuel Totten of Normal to win at No. 1 doubles 8-5 against Wisconsin-Eau Claire's highly-regarded team of Mike Mauthe and Andrew Dahl.
The Vikings are 3-4 overall and will play again on Feb. 28 in Orlando, Florida against Rose-Hulman as part of the spring break trip.
The Arlington Stallions will be traveling on March 18 and 19 to Cincinnati for preseason varsity and junior varsity matches against defending Ohio state champion St. Xavier and perennial powerhouse Moeller high schools.
"This will be a great test for this year's Stallions," said coach Paul Bergman. "We are excited to get this chance to travel together and be challenged by two of the better rugby programs in the Midwest."
The club has also announced a charitable connection to Bernie's Book Bank to collect books for families in need.
New or gently used children's books can be dropped off at the Arlington Heights California Pizza Kitchen today or Wednesday or at the Stallions' training session on Sunday at the RecPlex in Mt. Prospect.
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