December 7, 2017
By Ed Byrne
The Brillion News
WRIGHTSTOWN – Last year, Freedom senior Makenna Haase and Wrightstown junior Kailee Van Zeeland were arch-rivals on the basketball court.
Next year, they will be teammates and key pieces as Clarke University head coach Courtney Boyd continues building the Pride to become one of the top women’s basketball programs in NAIA Division 1.
Last week, Van Zeeland inked a national letter of intent, making her commitment to attend Clarke next year and play for Boyd.
Clarke is located in Dubuque, Iowa, some 214 miles from Wrightstown. It is a member of the Heart of America Conference.
Van Zeeland is off to a hot start in this, her high school senior year, averaging 19 points per game through three games.
She entered the season already in the top 10 of Wrightstown girls’ basketball’s all-time leading scorers, and has a good shot at topping the list by the end of the season.
But it isn’t just scoring that made her attractive to colleges.
“She’s been a starting guard for us here since her freshman year, and a huge part of our team,” WHS head coach Mike Froehlke said. “Her kindness, coachability and work ethic are what make all of these things possible for her.”
Froehlke said Van Zeeland is good at nearly everything she does on the court. Most notable are her scoring inside and beyond the arc, and defending different positions on the court. He said Van Zeeland is not only intelligent, but she’s basketball smart as well.
“She’s the full package,” Clarke coach Courtney Boyd said. “Not only have we talked about academics … but she is coachable, and has a great attitude. I’ve challenged her to do a few things … to change a few things about her game, and she’s taken that to the next level.”
Boyd suggested that younger players learn from watching Van Zeeland play.
“She’s going to put you in a position to be successful, and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing today,” Boyd said. “We feel that the void we need [filled] at Clarke is something she’s able to fill, and that she’s able to take us to the next level in the next four years.”
Please see the complete story in the December 7, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.