Top Ten basketball players of the century: Boys No. 9, Nick Fruendt of Batavia
Editors note: The Daily Herald is counting down the Top Ten boys and girls basketball players of the century in our coverage area. We continue today with No. 9 -- Nick Fruendt of Batavia and Megan Rogowski of Hersey.
Talk about a basketball family.
Nick Fruendt scored 1,849 points from 2004-08, passing Arizona Wildcat standout Corey Williams for most ever at a proud basketball school like Batavia that boasts Dan Issel and the late Craig Sager as alums and trophies that date back to the 1912 state champs.
That record still stands for boys, but Nick's sister Liza passed him up a few years later when she finished with 1,921; she was then passed by teammate Hannah Frazier's 2,089.
"I'm happy for Liza," laughed Nick, whose sister Sara also was a standout at Batavia. "She had an amazing career. She's got me on those bragging rights."
Nick Fruendt made an immediate impact as a freshman playing for Jim Roberts, earning all-area honors while helping the Bulldogs reach a sectional final. They did that again his sophomore year, losing to West Aurora in an earsplitting environment at a packed East Aurora gym.
Fruendt won all-area captain honors both his junior and senior seasons. A 6-foot-6 forward who could shoot from outside, attack the basket or score with a variety of crafty moves in the midrange, he averaged 19.9 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior.
Fruendt earned a scholarship to Northwestern, playing sparingly in his four years with a total of 85 points in 72 games while earning a degree that has led to a successful business career. After five years as a consultant, Fruendt returned to Northwestern to get his MBA, and he now works for software company vmware in Palo Alto, Calif.
He said there's a basketball court on his company's campus. Before the COVID-19 pandemic he would play two to three times a week at lunch.
"I'm really missing that right now," Fruendt said. "I don't slash nearly as much as I used to. I pretty much stay on the outside and try not to get injured."
Fruendt, 30, and his wife Ariel are excepting their first child in three weeks -- the next generation in a basketball-loving family.
"I feel I was lucky to play for coach Roberts and Batavia because it's a great program and the community rallies around the teams," Fruendt said. "I feel like the teammates I got to play with were awesome. I look back with a lot of great memories and really fondly."