Tags: Feature Sports Story
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Lana Wiesman (click for larger version)
July 03, 2012 | 11:54 AMIt's been a busy couple of months for Lana Wieseman.
The 18-year-old basketball standout played in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game, graduated and picked her destination for college basketball all in the last few months.
A 6-foot-1 inside and outside threat, Lana dominated the competition for Badger during her senior season this past winter. She averaged 18.5 points and eight rebounds per game in helping the Lady Badgers to a 16-8 record and their first conference title in 14 years.
In May, Wieseman decided to play Division 3 basketball at Beloit College, joining her brother, Laramie, a junior. And in June, Wieseman played in the prestigious WBCA All-Star game, a statewide showcase with all proceeds going to the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund.
Wieseman recently found some time to catch up with the Regional News about her decision to attend Beloit College and her WBCA experience.
RN: Tell me about your experience at the WBCA all-star game.
LW: We arrived in the (Wisconsin) Dells on the Wednesday of that week. Leading up to the game, we had team practices every day. We also had many team activities such as attending the Tommy Bartlett Show, going on a Dells Boat Tour and touring the Dells. Thursday night we had a banquet where I received the Academic All-State Award, and all the girls were recognized for their fundraising efforts. The next morning was the game. The week was so much fun and such a great experience.
RN: Did you do anything involving the MACC Fund?
LW: Jon McGlocklin, the president of the MACC Fund, spoke to all the participants about how much our fundraising was helping children with cancer and blood disorders. We also had the chance to listen to one cancer survivor's story. She was the same age as all the players.
Hearing the struggles and hardships that she had to overcome in her young life really made me see things more from her perspective. I'm glad that I could help others going through these same struggles through my fundraising. It was inspirational, and I am thankful for the experience.
RN: How did you play in the game? Were you nervous at all?
LW: I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed playing with and against some of the best players from all over the state. The team I played for, the South, won, which made the day that much better. I wasn't too nervous, but there are always a few nerves before a big game.
RN: What was the level of competition like?
LW: The level of competition was very high. On my team there were several Division 1 and Division 2 scholarship athletes. Almost everyone was going somewhere to play college basketball. It was really cool to play with such talented players and get to know them over the course of the week.
RN: Overall, what was your favorite part of the WBCA experience?
LW: My favorite part of the week was seeing all my family, friends, and coaches in the stands cheering and supporting me in this game. My family has been such a huge part of my basketball career and has been essential in helping me with my fundraising efforts for the MACC Fund. I am also so thankful my coaches were there to support me as well, and I am glad I could represent Badger High School and the girls basketball program in this special way.
RN: Let's switch gears to Beloit College. When and why did you decide to play at Beloit?
LW: I made my official decision in early May. It was a long process, and Beloit was in the running from the very beginning. I decided to attend and play at Beloit for many reasons. I was awarded the Beloit College Presidential Scholarship, which is their highest academic scholarship. The academic aspect of Beloit is what attracted me the most. Beloit is a private college, and I like all the academic opportunities it provides. I got to know the coaching staff and players well. Also, I liked how Beloit is close enough to allow my family and friends to watch me play in college.
RN: How excited are you to go to school with Laramie, and how much did that affect your decision?
LW: I am very excited to go to school with Laramie. It will be awesome to have that support at college as well. While going to the same college as my brother is an advantage in my mind, it wasn't a deciding factor for me. I chose Beloit because I believe it is the right fit for me, and will help me in achieving my future goals.
RN: What other schools did you consider? Why did you choose to play at a Division 3 school?
LW: I considered a lot of schools, mostly Division 2 and 3 schools and some NAIA schools as well. While I was offered full scholarships from some Division 2 and NAIA schools, I knew Beloit was a better fit for me. I chose to play at a Division 3 school because I liked the opportunities it provided me with. I liked that I can get a great education at a small school and also play basketball along with having opportunities to travel abroad and play other sports which I would not be able to at a larger public school on a basketball-only scholarship.
RN: How excited are you to start college and a new chapter in your life? Can you believe you're playing college basketball?
LW: I am so excited to turn the page and start college. It feels almost surreal to know I will soon be playing basketball at the college level — something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. It is also very fulfilling to know all my hard work thus far has paid off.
RN: Who do you think has been your biggest inspiration(s) so far?
LW: My biggest inspirations have been my high school coaches because they have been the ones to push me to be my best every day. I can't thank them enough for all the encouragement, time and energy they have given me. I truly enjoyed playing for them and I am so thankful I had great coaches like them.
RN: Your sister Liberty recently made state in track. How proud are you of your siblings and their athletic achievements? Do you all push each other and support each other?
LW: I am so proud of Liberty for making it to state. She definitely encountered some obstacles along the way with her knee surgeries, but her drive is very inspiring. She knew she could get there, and she did. It's great to be able to support all my siblings in their athletics. I love watching my brothers play basketball and watching my youngest sister's softball and basketball games. We have always cheered for each other. I feel very lucky to have such a supportive family.
RN: What are you majoring in at Beloit College? What is your dream job someday?
LW: I will be majoring in biology, and I hope to have a job in the health care field in the future. I really enjoy helping people. I would also love to be able to coach one day.
RN: What will you miss the most about Badger athletics?
LW: I will miss the great teammates, coaches and fans that I have gotten to know and love while at Badger. They are what made my four years truly special. The entire Badger High School community and staff are so supportive of student-athletes, and it was great to know the school wanted success for us.
RN: So when are you off to school? What are you doing the rest of the summer to stay busy?
LW: I leave for school on Aug. 20, so I am very excited for that. This summer I am working out a lot for basketball, working a summer job, spending time with family and friends and enjoying the summer.