Kunz leaves record-setting legacy

Talented senior guard has plenty to look back on

April 12, 2011

Maybe some day, New Berlin West senior Hailey Kunz will be able to refer to her outstanding high school basketball career while working as a professional broadcaster.

Goodness knows she will have plenty to talk about.

Kunz, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse in the fall, may be majoring in sports broadcasting. If she is as good a broadcaster as she was a player, she should have plenty of job offers.

Kunz, a 5-foot-9-inch guard for the Vikings the past three years, was a first-team all-conference choice in the Woodland Conference Blue Division this season. She averaged a team-leading 15.4 points per game for the season, 15.8 in conference play and she was third overall in scoring in the Woodland Conference and fourth in scoring.

She was an outstanding shooter, making 50 3-pointers overall, 44 to lead the conference, setting school records in both. She had the old record of 48 and has 110 3-pointers in her career. She was an 80% free throw shooter on the season and she shot 84 percent to lead the conference. She was a 78% free throw shooter, just missing the school record of 79%. At one point this year she made 39 consecutive free throws.

She is 10th on the school's career scoring list and sixth in points scored in a season. She was also a WBCA All-Star selection this year and as a result of all these honors she has been selected to the 11-player NOW Newspapers 2010-11 Girls All-Suburban Basketball Team.

"She was phenomenal to coach," Viking coach Corey Scheel said. "Even when I saw her play in middle school, you could see her athletic ability, especially when she played against the boys. I envied the guy who would coach her and I lucked out and I had the chance to do it."

One of the first things that Scheel noticed was her competitiveness.

"Without a doubt, she has a competitive nature. She hates to lose," he said. "If she wanted to she could take over a game, but she is no prima dona."

Kunz's competitive edge doesn't just show up on the basketball court.

"In almost anything I do, I don't like to lose," she said. "I think about it (the loss, a test, a paper) over and over. What could I have done different. I would talk to him (Scheel) about it. It would drive me nuts. Things drive me nuts; not getting an 'A' on test, for example."

Kunz and Scheel had a close relationship.

"She's like my niece or little sister," he said. "She does her best to leave her mark."

"We get along really well," Kunz said. "We're very much alike. We have the same mindsets. He said he played a lot like I did, so he knows what it takes to win and I can help relay that to the team."

Scheel talked about Kunz' leadership skills, as she was a three-year captain and also captained the softball team which he coaches.

"She led by example," he said. "She had good work, ethic. She was a 4.0 student. She led on and off court. She didn't get into trouble. She gets the game and she understands life. She could also be a very vocal leader. One time she took time to talk to the freshman girls."

Kunz recalled her conversation with the freshman players.

"They came to me, which I thought was pretty nice," Kunz said. "They wanted to know how they can improve. We talked leadership. I guess by the way I talk on the court, people see me as a leader, and so I can get them to talk."

"We are all good friends and teammates, though, so when it comes to motivation we know we all want to just win."

It has been a good ride.

"That's a big bummer that's it over," Kunz said. "It was sad, but we accomplished some good things. I wanted to be a better teammate and leader.'

Martha Radtke, New Berlin West's 5-6 senior guard, captain and second-team all-conference, earned honorable mention honors on the 2010-11 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team.




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