By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – The wait is finally over for Jaddan Simmons.
The Green Bay Southwest High School basketball player broke the all-time Green Bay metro girls’ scoring record in her team’s 66-47 win over Ashwaubenon Jan. 28.
Needing 26 points to break Natisha Hiedeman’s career mark, Simmons, an Arizona State University commit, netted 26 for the 11-4 Trojans.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Simmons, who is the daughter of Jason and Tiffany Simmons. “I know Natisha Hiedeman because I’ve worked out with her a couple of times. Knowing it was her record makes me proud because I look up to her.”
Simmons, a four-year varsity player for the Trojans, broke the old mark of 1,773 set by Hiedeman in 2015 while she attended Southwest.
After having a highly successful career at Marquette University, Hiedeman is currently a member of the Connecticut Sun in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
Simmons scored 11 points in the first eight minutes of the game and looked like she would easily set the record, but she went scoreless the rest of the first half.
It wasn’t until she hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with four minutes remaining in the game that she broke the mark.
“I didn’t have any nerves because I knew if it wasn’t this game, it would eventually happen,” said the 5-foot-10 Simmons, who now sits at 1,774 career points. “I was glad I broke the record in front of my dad, mom and friends.”
Simmons, who was a first-team, all-state selection her junior season, is currently averaging more than 23 points per game.
She came into the season 363 points shy of the record.
“As a freshman, I never thought about breaking this record,” Simmons said. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of points.’ From my freshman year until now, my shot and vision on the court have improved.”
The Trojans play at home Friday, Jan. 31, but head coach Berri West said there was no plan to wait until then for Simmons to break the record.
“We simply played basketball tonight,” said West. “Ultimately, we didn’t talk about Jaddan breaking the record because she isn’t that type of player. She’s unselfish, is humble, shares the ball and that shows in her game. I didn’t want to put any pressure on her, and I don’t think she felt any. It’s a big accomplishment what she did. I’m super proud of her. She draws lots of attention on the court, and that opens up more opportunities for her teammates. She has bought into that philosophy this season.”
Simmons is now 212 points away from breaking the all-time Green Bay metro career scoring mark set by Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran’s Sam Meerstein.
“I didn’t know the guy’s record,” smiled Simmons. “Our ultimate goal is to get to the WIAA state tournament at the Resch Center – that’s what we are focused on.”