Frankly, Mundelein's prolific scorer has winning attitude
With her love of shoes, Morgan Frank couldn't lose.
A rare win for Mundelein's top girls basketball player presented itself.
Sporting a pair of popular Kyrie Irving "SpongeBob SquarePants" red high-tops at practice this week, Frank explained her passion for footwear -- sneakers, in particular -- and her game plan to cash in.
"With basketball, I never had time to get a job," says Frank, a 5-foot-11 senior guard/forward. "I like sneakers, so I was trying to put the two together and make money."
A stuff-the-stat-sheet type of player, Frank discovered a way to stuff her purse with money. She buys shoes and other street wear, then sells online.
It's proof her resourcefulness isn't limited to the basketball court.
"She's very determined," Mustangs teammate and fellow team captain Tess McKay says. "When she wants something, she goes for it. I think she's a player to look up to."
While McKay was talking about Frank's attitude when it comes to basketball, it's clear Frank strategizes, no matter what shoes she picks from her closet. Signed with Colgate University in New York, where she will study physical therapy or business and play Division I basketball for the Raiders of the Patriot League, Frank is doing her best to stay positive.
And while she has a real shot at becoming her program's all-time leading scorer with three regular-season games left, the reality is, Mundelein enters Friday night's home against 22-game winner Stevenson with a 7-20 record.
It's the third 20-loss campaign in a row for the Mustangs, who are 40-79 in Frank's four seasons on varsity.
"I think she's making the most of it," says Mundelein coach Greg Dorgan, who counts fewer than 40 players in his program. "It's definitely been rough in that we feel like we've had to start over from scratch. However, I think there's a really good group together that she's learned over the season to trust and help bring under her wings, too."
No high scorer likes a high loss total, but Frank keeps her head up.
"I've pretty much been losing a lot all of my life, through feeder and high school," Frank says. "I just try to make everyone around me better. And if we're going to lose, we're going to lose while trying our hardest. We're going to make the best passes, the best decisions. If we mess up, we're going to talk through it."
She knows young Mundelein basketball girls look up to her and not just because she's the tallest player on the team.
"She's Morgan Frank," McKay says. "Everyone in the community knows her."
Just wait if she breaks the program scoring record. Frank's popularity might increase even more.
Her 1,504 career points rank second to only the late Peggy Koehler (Class of 1984), who played collegiately at Tulsa after pouring in 1,549 points as a Mustang.
A two-time all-area player, Frank is averaging a career-best 17.2 points per game, including a career-best 32 in an overtime win at Waukegan last Saturday night.
How about that, Dad?
"At the beginning of the year my dad told me that it was possible," Frank says with a grin of her dad, Jim, a former Mundelein quarterback. She is the only child of Jim and Betsy. "He pretty much told me that I wasn't going to get it, actually, unless I worked really hard this year. So I put my hours in the gym and I told myself [breaking the school scoring record] was my goal."
Then she missed a game against Zion-Benton because of a migraine.
"After that game he was like, 'You're probably not going to get it, so don't be upset,' " Frank says. "So I just worked harder.
"He always motivates me," she adds with an appreciation of her dad. "Whenever he knocks me down, he always tries to build me up again."
Frank hasn't been only a scorer for the Mustangs. She has more than 200 career blocks, including 68 this season, and regularly tallies high totals in rebounds, assists and steals, as well. More impressively, the 17-year-old boasts a 4.1 GPA.
A losing team has a winning ballplayer.
And, says the prolific scorer, a future when she leaves.
"I see people coming in before we have practice, or staying after practice, who want to get better," Frank says. "If we keep working, we'll eventually get better."
Spoken like a winner.
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