Wisconsin's top player is shooting for a third consecutive state title this season.
Blessed with strong post moves and the ability to run the court, Mistie Bass has been the stalwart of the Parker High School (in Janesville, Wis.) basketball team since her freshman year. About to enter her senior season, Bass is hoping to cap her high school career by leading Parker to its third consecutive state title.
As a sophomore, the 6-2 Bass averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game a year ago in leading Parker to a 27-0 season and a WIAA Division 1 state championship. Last season, Bass led Parker to a 26-1 record and another state championship. She averaged 17.8 points, 4.4 blocks, and 11.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field.
Bass has accumulated her impressive numbers despite constant attention from opposing defenses. "We played a team (in the sectional) that just let the other players score," said Parker Head Coach Tom Klawitter, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "You wouldn't have believed it. They just wanted to make sure she didn't get the ball. And the other kids were kind of left wide open. That's kind of the way it has been for her."
The daughter of rock and roll legend Chubby Checker, who's best known for his song "The Twist," Bass has had a busy summer. In June, she tried out for the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team, along with many of the country's top female hoopsters. And in July, she helped lead her AAU team, the Wisconsin Viking Club Velocity Red to the 17-and-under national tournament title in Orlando, Fla.
Bass has racked up an impressive amount of honors over the past three years: Parade All-America Second Team, two-time Wisconsin Miss Basketball, three-time Conference Player of the Year, and the 2001 Gatorade Wisconsin Player of the Year. But, by all accounts, she's managed to maintain her composure and not let the clamor from the media, fans, and college recruiters affect her game.
"When a kid gets the amount of attention she has, you worry a little bit," said Klawitter in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook. "But she's been good. Her teammates are very important to her, and she gets good advice from the people who are around her.
"To have your best player work as hard as she does ... that's a nice combination," Klawitter added. "That's why she can make the kids around her that much better."
As of early September, Coach Klawitter said Bass was considering several colleges including Tennessee, Duke, Rutgers, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Previous candidates Connecticut and Notre Dame have dropped out of the recruiting chase.
Article written by Gball Associate Editor Jim Catalano.
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