By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
Name: Autumn Schlader
Sport: Girls Basketball
Autumn Schlader is a four-year varsity performer on the girls’ basketball team. She came in as a Freshman back in 2014-2015 and averaged 5.4 PPG while learning the curve.
The last three years, she has led the team in scoring while doing countless other intangibles to help her team win basketball games.
As a Senior, Schlader has guided the Jaguars to a 12-8 record (wins over Notre Dame and De Pere) while averaging 11.8 PPG, 3.2 RBG, and 2.5 APG.
Statistically, she has gotten better every year, and will be a main component in helping the Jaguars down the stretch in post-season play!
What is it like to be a leader on the Ashwaubenon basketball team? “Being a leader on the Ashwaubenon basketball team is the greatest honor I have been blessed with. My role is challenging, exciting, and a huge responsibility. There are many different challenges that take place on and off the floor. There could be an injury and I need to make sure the team and that player is okay. When I am having bad practices or games, I still have to find a way to keep my team motivated. I continue to talk and hold others accountable even if I am struggling. Being that person that everyone has their eyes on isn’t scary at all. I love doing my best to help people and lead them to be better individuals and players. I am in charge of leading stretching, counting players on the bus, and making sure all players are prepared for practices and games. These small responsibilities many people don’t know or see but are crucial for the success of the team.”
What is your most embarrassing moment ever in basketball? “My most embarrassing moment in basketball took place when I was in the fourth grade. I was playing up on the fifth grade Green Bay Purple Aces AAU basketball team. I subbed into the game and was the in-bounder. I was on the opposite end of the court with our point guard standing just inbounds. All of the players were surrounding our basket on the other end of the floor. I passed the ball to our point guard. I then jogged slowly down the floor. Just as I crossed the half court line, I lost my balance and face planted. Nobody was near me and it was a non-ball situation. To this day, it is still my most embarrassing basketball memory.”
How many years have you been involved in basketball? “I have been playing basketball since I was in the second grade. I played on a co-ed basketball team called the “Red Rhinos.” Once I got to Ashwaubenon, I continued to play with the team all four years of my high school career. I started to play AAU basketball for the Green Bay Purple Aces when I was in the fourth grade and have continued on with them.”
What is your most memorable moment in basketball? “My most memorable moment in basketball was my first youth night, Freshman year. I had been waiting and dreaming for this day. That night was all about the kids, not just the actual kids, but for the inner kid in all of the players. We wanted to play for the little girl who was out there idolizing us. We knew that we were facing a tough opponent, but that passion gave us a spark that we haven’t seen or felt before. In an instance without thought of time, place, or score, I made a curl cut to the top left 3-point line. My teammate passed me the ball, (not caring about the defender in my face), shot the 3-pointer and it went in. We then got a stop on defense and they had to foul. We won the game. That confidence and feeling of taking that 3-point shot is indescribable. I love this memory because it is a pinpoint moment where I can remember where I lived in the game. I didn’t think about what was happening in those split seconds; rather for what it truly was, my destiny.”
What’s the hardest part about basketball? “The hardest part about basketball is being able to push through adversity on and off the floor. My team becomes my family. When something bad happens to my family it hurts. Adversity comes in different forms and sizes; injuries, illnesses, drama, and much more. I attempt to get that person and the rest of my team through the struggle of it all. It is hard as a player and a leader to push through the adversities because of the amount of mental toughness needed. Physically a team can be the best, but if the mental toughness struggles then it will disrupt the outcome of play. Adversity is unpredictable and is ultimately the biggest opponent every team has to defeat.”
If you could be somebody for a day, who would it be? “If I could be somebody for a day I would be myself four years ago. Not to redo my mistakes or anything like that. I would want to spend time with my grandma again. My grandma died almost two years ago. We used to be very close and do everything together. I practically lived at her house for how many sleepovers we had. She was truly my best friend. As I got older I got busy with sports, and I was able to drive. I didn’t spend as much time with her. She suddenly got sick, and then passed away a week after she became ill. I wish I would have spent more time with her while she was here. If I could go back, I would spend every day with her.”
What are your college aspirations? “I intend on attending Minnesota State University- Moorhead in the fall of 2018. I am overall undecided on what direction I want to take with classes. I am currently thinking about going along the lines of Business or Sports Marketing for my major. Business gives me more job opportunities. Sports Marketing would be greatly related to my extreme passion for basketball and sports. The interest can make my job very enjoyable. I will for sure have a minor in coaching.”
What would your dream job be once you graduate? “My dream job is to be a college coach. I want to still be involved in the game after my playing career ends. I have a true passion for the game of basketball. I love teaching others what I know about the game, and I love learning more about the game each and every day.”
What are your hobbies? “My hobbies consist of coaching and spending time with my family. Watching kids improve as players and people is the most rewarding experience. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the game with our youth. I also find it rewarding how much my fellow basketball players teach me in the process of teaching them. Family time is the most important thing in life. Playing board games, going out to eat, or just sitting and talking is so much fun. We have a very close-knit relationship.”
What is your favorite sporting event ever attended? “My favorite sporting event ever attended was the WIAA Division III Girls State semi-final game at the Resch Center in 2016-2017. My teammates from the Green Bay Purple Aces Kailee Van Zeeland and Taylor Guns were playing in this game with the Wrightstown Tigers. This was my favorite because I was happy for them that they accomplished getting to the Resch Center. Many teams dream of getting to the Resch Center to play, and they were able to have that experience. My teammates worked so hard their entire lives and they deserved to bet in that moment. They aren’t just some of the best teammates I have had, but they are also two of the best people I have ever met. I loved watching them live a dream that they worked so hard to achieve.”
What is your favorite type of music? “My favorite type of music is Independent music. This genre really digs deep into my inner soul. The words and the beat create a type of calm over my body. Every time I listen to a song it is like going on a self-discovery journey. I really reflect on who I am, and who I want to be.”
What is your favorite thing to do on your phone? “My favorite thing to do on my phone is listen to music. I can make playlists whether it be for a game, a car ride, or some homework. Being able to have the music of my choosing at my fingertips is awesome!”
What three words describe you? “Determined, Compassionate, and Leader”
What is your favorite trip ever taken? “My favorite trip ever taken was traveling to my official visit to Minnesota State Moorhead-University. My mom and I left on a Friday night towards Moorhead, Minnesota. The trip took about eight hours. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the players set for me. They were very intelligent, funny, and caring. While seeing these few things I got this feeling that I never wanted to leave and that I belonged. The next day I went on a tour of the campus and I loved it even more than I already did. We left early that afternoon to get home at a reasonable hour. This was the best trip I found where I would spend the next four years of my life; my home away from home.”
Deep Fried Pickles
Comments on Autumn Schlader: “Autumn has a pure love for the game of basketball,” said Nicky VanLaanen, Jaguars Head Basketball Coach. “She has worked very hard to be able to play college ball and has helped turn our program around since her freshman year. She will be extremely missed both on and off the floor.”