Homegrown Talent: Maty Wilke Commits to
UW Women's Basketball Team

by Yani Thoronka, age 15

Maty Wilke, a 5-foot-10 guard from Beaver Dam recently committed to the University of Wisconsin Women’s basketball program. Wilke announced her decision to the UW coach Jonathan Tsipis over a facetime call in August.

“I just couldn’t see myself wearing another jersey,” said Wilke. “It’s just being a Badger, wearing red and playing for my hometown fans and turning around the program, it just seemed right. Nothing else really seemed to fit in my head.”

Wilke is considered a top recruit and has received national attention. Over the years, she has remained one of Tsipis’ top recruiting targets. And with so much talent, the list of recruiters is extensive. The first was North Dakota, the summer before eighth grade. Since then, Wilke has received several other offers including all three of Wisconsin’s Division 1 programs and eight other schools from the Big Ten Conference. Through much thought and consideration, Wilke’s finalized list of options came down to UW, Marquette, Minnesota, Utah and Iowa. [read more]

LaRonda McLin Named Head Coach at Madison East

by Yani Thoronka , age 15

East High School girls’ basketball now has a definite head coach. LaRonda McLin served as the interim coach last season before she was promoted to head coach this past month. The announcement in regards to McLin’s promotion came from East athletic director T.J. Rogness on Thursday, June 18.

McLin graduated from Madison East in 2002, and in her time there her contributions allowed the girls’ basketball program to secure an overall record of 9-12. Post high school, she continued her education at Carthage College in Kenosha, where she played basketball before transferring to Madison Area Technical College (MATC) to finish her education.

McLin is presently working at Schenk Elementary School as the director of the Community Learning Center, an after school program. She had also previously worked at East as the JV head coach from 2015-2018. During her time at East, McLin also coached with Wisconsin Academy in 2017 and CRUSH Basketball in 2018. She later founded HoopinBeauty, a basketball skills and training company. McLin then transferred from East to Madison West, where she became the assistant varsity coach for the 2018-19 season. [read more]

UW Women's Basketball Ticket Sales Increased During the 2019-20 Season

by Yani Thoronka, age 15

Ticket sales were booming this year for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Women’s basketball. They averaged an all-time high of 1,642 tickets scanned during their 15 regular-season games, which is a 6 percent increase from last year’s 2018-19 season.

Within the past couple of years, there has been a slight climb in ticket sales, but the Badgers have struggled to attract crowds over 2,000 since the 2009-10 NCAA tournament, commonly known as March Madness. They finished the tournament with a record of 21-11 and finished the following nine seasons below .500 (meaning they lost half of their games). As a result of these difficult seasons, the ticket scans dropped significantly. In 2016-17, it averaged only 1,278, which was a reduction of over half the crowd in seven seasons. [read more]

UW-Madison Women’s Basketball Announces Talented Recruits

by Josepha Da Costa, age 15

After the disappointment of last season’s interruption at UW-Madison, due to Covid-19, the Badgers Women’s basketball team has announced exciting news for the Madison community. Two new players have committed to the recruiting class of 2021: Krystyna Ellew and Sacia Vanderpool.

Ranked No. 104 in the nation by the All-Star Girls Report, 5-foot-10 Krystyna Ellew is a point guard from Chicago Taft. Holding the school’s record of 58 points in a single game, Ellew broke Taft’s record and quickly turned into their leading scorer. During her junior year, she ultimately averaged 22.8 points. [read more]

Giannis Antetokoumpo's Road to Success

by Aissata Bah, age 9

Giannis Antetokoumpo was born on December 6, 1994, in Sepolia, Athens, a city in Greece. Although he was born in Greece, Giannis was not given Greek citizenship. His parents were undocumented, and Greece doesn’t have birthright citizenship.

Antetokoumpo’s parents emigrated from Nigeria in 1991. He had a difficult childhood; his parents struggled to make ends meet and take care of their family of eight. Most days, Antetokoumpo and his older brother Thanasis would report to basketball practice on a near empty stomach. They played in the field closest to their modest neighborhood in Sepolia. [read more]

Reggie White's Legacy Is Much Bigger than Just Football

by Josepha Da Costa, age 15

Reggie White is one of the best professional football players in the history of the National Football League. Because he was also a passionate Christian, he was known in Wisconsin as the “Minister of Defense.” Reggie White was a committed and generous benefactor for his communities. He lifted up the reputation of the Green Bay Packers and helped create free agency as we know it today.

Reggie White’s football journey started at the University of Tennessee, where he was recognized as an All-American player during his senior year of college. He became well-known for his outstanding play for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985 to 1992, as well as helping to set in place true free agency for his fellow athletes. [read more]

Former Badger Star Tamara Moore Named Head Coach of Men’s Basketball at College in Minnesota

by Yani Thoronka, age 15

Former Wisconsin Badger basketball star and WNBA player Tamara Moore is the new head coach of the men’s basketball team at Mesabi Range College in Minnesota. Mesabi Range is a small community college in Virginia, Minnesota, located about 70 miles northwest of Duluth.

Moore announced her acceptance of the job through social media platforms and expressed excitement about her new position. She also acknowledged that being one of the few women to run a men’s college basketball program makes her a pioneer and gives her a chance to pave a way forward for other women in the profession.

The first female head coach of a college men’s basketball program was Keri-Ann McTiernan, who coached men’s basketball in the early 2000s, at Kingsborough College, in New York City. [read more]

Annual Berbee Derby Benefits Local Kids

by Leila Fletcher, age 17

Most of us consume plenty of good food on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, Dane County has the perfect balance for all the calories. At the annual Berbee Derby, we can all get some good exercise Thanksgiving morning, and then enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends.

The 16th annual Thanksgiving Day Berbee Derby features a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K run. Our community benefits because 100% of Derby proceeds go to the Technology Education Foundation (TEF). These funds, over $1,600,000 since the Derby's inception, have supported dozens of innovative projects, and are used to help schools and non-profit organizations close the technology gap so prevalent in under-served populations of all ages. [read more]

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