Barrington's Grudzinski cleaned up quite well this season
Barrington's Will Grudzinski doesn't mind cleaning up.
Whether it is on the basketball court or after a game, the 6-foot-6 senior forward finds ways to get things into a basket.
Grudzinski, who has been on the Barrington varsity team since his sophomore year, has been a key cog in the Broncos' run toward a Class 4A state title and a 28-4 record heading into Friday's state semifinal against Whitney Young.
"His teammates know it too," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "He has worked so hard on his own to get where he is. Obviously, he is talented. But his work ethic is terrific. And he is a great teammate. It is always all about the team for him."
Grudzinski is averaging 19.1 points per game and 5 rebounds. He is shooting 42.4% from outside the arc this year and has set a school-record with 95 3-pointers this season.
That included a 3hree-pointer on Monday in the Supersectional against Glenbrook South. The ball spun like a top, circling the rim at least three times before dropping through to give the Broncos the lead for good late in the fourth quarter.
Grudzinski also knocked down 8 3-pointers in one game this season to tie a school record. He also had a career-high 38-point game earlier this season.
Grudzinski has earned the respect for opposing coaches in the Mid-Suburban West. He has been named the MSL West player of the year, not just once, but last season as well. In both of those seasons, he helped lead Barrington to the MSL West title and this year the Broncos won the MSL championship game.
Grudzinski picked up another honor this week when he was named honorable mention to the Class 4A AP all-state team.
"He has really made some big shots," Tucker said. "He has done that all year for us. We know we can lean on him for those type of plays."
But it is not just on-the-court play that makes Grudzinski special. He has a 4.14 grade-point average and will be attending Washington University in St. Louis.
"He is awesome off the court," Tucker said. "He is a great student. He is polite, respectful and liked by his peers. Just a great kid. And very smart too. He was letting academics drive his recruiting. He has his priorities in order."
His play on the court and his dedication off the court is why Grudzinski has earned the honor of Captain for the Daily Herald Northwest suburbs All-Area team.
"It is really an exciting honor," said Grudzinski after his team upset Glenbrook South in the Supersectional in a game that Grudzinski finished with 14 points.
"I could not have done this without all my teammates and my coaches."
Take on the court.
Grudzinski has been the Broncos' leading scorer for the past two seasons. He just surpassed the 1,000-point total for his career and has been instrumental in leading Barrington to the state semifinals Friday.
Tucker, who has coached his fair share of talented players in his distinguished 26-year career, said Grudzinski has improved his game exponentially.
"He was a bench player for us a sophomore," Tucker said. "You could see it coming on as a sophomore. He was the man last year as junior. He moves off the ball well and how to get himself open shots."
If his on-the-court feats were not enough, his off the court persona is something to be proud of as well.
There was a picture that Barrington Athletic Director Mike Obsuszt tweeted a few weeks back.
Barrington had just upset Rolling Meadows in the Mid-Suburban League championship game at Barrington. Players, coaches, parents and fans were on the Barrington basketball court celebrating the huge win.
But where was Grudzinski?
He was behind the Barrington bench, picking up cups and other garbage that had been left behind his team's bench. Obsuszt, a former head basketball coach at Barrington, said that picture of a team's most valuable player doing the dirty work, resonated with him.
"You see the little things," Obsuszt said. "Will, picking up the cups after the game. If you watched down the stretch, Will has had some strong scoring games. But there are games where teams have concentrated their defense on him. Being the unselfish player, he has done the little things to make his teammates better."
Because that's' what captains do.