Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Been around the world
Badger star Wieseman has made Lake Geneva a landing place after living in several states

by Mike Ramczyk

January 05, 2012

Lana earned first team all-SLC honors in the fall for golf.
Lana Wieseman isn't one to be pushed around.

In her basketball career, the 6-foot-1 Badger senior has faced the likes of Alana Cesarz (6-2), Sarah Vozel (5-11), Kaitlyn Wilks (6-0) and numerous other big, strong centers.

But Wieseman always finds a way to succeed. Growing up with two taller brothers, 6-foot-3 Laramie and 6-foot-3 Lincoln, along with three sisters, Lana had no choice but to toughen up.

"I was at the YMCA playing basketball with my brother Laramie (who plays at Beloit College) over winter break, and Laramie threw me around a little," Lana said.

This winter, Lana and the Badger girls are 5-3 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Lakes Conference, good for first place heading into the new year. Lana is averaging a career high in points (19.1 per game) and pulling down 5.4 rebounds a game. She grew up playing sports with her siblings her entire life and got into basketball at age 7. Despite always being one of the tallest girls, Wieseman can play like a guard. She can handle the ball in traffic and knock down deep jumpers.

"I would say my strong suit is playing inside and outside," Lana said. "I'm not just a post."

But Lana isn't just a one-trick pony. In 2011, she excelled in golf and track as well. She made sectionals in the triple jump this past summer, and she was a first-team all-SLC golfer.

For her efforts, Lana has been selected as the 2011 Lake Geneva Regional News Female Athlete of the Year.

Lana, 18, has found a permanent residence in Lake Geneva after a childhood of bouncing around the country. She was born in Nebraska, but her family moved to Washington, South Dakota and Minnesota before ending up in Lake Geneva five years ago.

When Lana was younger, her father was working for universities and often had to move. This gave her a chance to check out a lot of good college basketball, and she became hooked early on.

"My dad has us in recreation league basketball," Lana said. "I got to watch a lot of college basketball and hockey. When we lived in Minnesota, hockey was so huge. I've always been around sports, and I've wanted to play college basketball for a long time."

With parents Lyndon and Lise, Lana, Lincoln, Laramie, Liberty, Laurelyn and Luannabelle make up the Wiesemans. With six kids only 11 years apart, Lana always had someone to work on her skills with. As far as the 'L' thing, Lana can't put a finger on it.

"I don't know, they just decided to name us all with an 'L'," she joked.

A memorable year

There has been nothing funny about the serious talent she displayed in 2011.

In March, she helped lead the Lady Badgers basketball team to a 12-11 record and an 8-6 SLC mark. Wieseman led the Badgers with 15 points per game in the 2010-11 season. Wieseman was named first team all-SLC and first team all-Walworth County.

Then, in June, Lana qualified for sectionals in the triple jump with a leap over 33 feet. Also, she soared to a height of 5-2 in the high jump.

By fall, Lana faced some adversity. During the golf season, No. 1 player Annie Gaugert, a good friend of Lana's, underwent emergency appendectomy surgery and had to miss the Southern Lakes Conference meet. Thrust into the No. 1 slot, Wieseman stepped to the plate. Her performance earned her first team all-SLC honors.

"Getting first team in golf was very unexpected," Lana said. "I didn't play until my freshman year. I was kind of nervous at conference. I had never played No. 1 before. It was nice, though, that Annie showed up at the meet and supported us."

Lana added golf has helped improve her mental toughness.

"Golf helped me with basketball," she said. "On the court, I'm always thinking about the next play."

While Wieseman excels in just about anything she does (she carries a 4.1 cumulative GPA), there's no doubt her top sport is basketball.

The Lady Badgers are rolling this year. Already with three road victories including one against defending conference champion Union Grove, the girls could be well on their way to an SLC title. And Wieseman is an early favorite for player of the year.

"I've taken on more of a leadership role this year," she said. "I put in a lot of work in the offseason. My teammates and I lifted in the summer three days a week at 6 a.m. And we played in summer leagues in Lake Geneva and Burlington. We have great team chemistry this season."

Someday, Lana hopes to be a physical therapist and hopes to play college basketball. For her, sports and school feed off each other.

"You need good grades to play sports," she said. "Sports motivates me to work hard in school."

Although she fouled out and had to enjoy it from the bench, Lana's 2011 highlight was a Dec. 9 overtime victory at Union Grove.

"I've never beaten them in Union Grove in my career," she said. "It was hard to watch from the bench, but we really showed it took everyone to win."

In 2012, Lana hopes to help bring home a SLC title in girls basketball, have a solid track season and hopefully commit to a college by May.

No matter where 2012 takes her, she will always appreciate the positive support of her family and coaches.

"I like the competitiveness of the game and being part of a team," she said. "I like the feeling of a packed gym and having family and friends supporting me and my team. I am also motivated by my coaches. They push me to be the best I can be every day, and they expect a lot of me which has helped my game a lot."