By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – Knock another one off the list for De Pere girls’ basketball player Jordan Meulemans.
In a recent game at Manitowoc Lincoln, Meulemans, a Division I commit to Butler University, scored her 1,390th career point to move past Jenny Steffen on the all-time scoring list at De Pere.
With two more games played since breaking the record, Meulemans now sits at 1,433 career points through 81 career games.
This season, Meulemans is averaging 25.8 points per contest for the 9-2 Redbirds.
“It’s a moment I’ll remember for a long time,” Meulemans said. “The all-time scoring record hasn’t been broken for 16 years, so I was shocked I broke it this early in the season. My coaches and teammates push me to be my best every day on the court, so they’re a huge reason I reached this milestone.”
Before De Pere’s 74-54 victory Dec. 23 against Appleton North, Meulemans was honored at midcourt.
Todd Steffen, the father of Jenny, presented Meulemans with the game ball from the Manitowoc game.
“I’m a big fan of (Meulemans),” Todd Steffen said. “She’s an awesome kid – she works hard and is dedicated. It was awesome to see it all come to fruition and be a part of it. I was honored De Pere made it happen.”
Career scoring list
Meulemans now sits in third place overall in De Pere basketball history on the scoring list.
Craig Haese (1993-97) is second with 1,600 career points, while Brevin Pritzl (2011-15) is first with 1,720 career points.
Barring injury or another setback, Meulemans has at least 14 games – possibly more depending on how far the Redbirds advance in the postseason – remaining in her high school career.
If she hits at her current scoring average for the remainder of the season, she’ll jump ahead of Pritzl by 74 points in 14 games.
Currently trailing Pritzl by 287 points, Meulemans needs to average a shade more than 20 points per game in the remaining 14 contests to become De Pere’s all-time leading scorer.
“That’s the next milestone I’m going to try and reach before the season ends,” Meulemans said. “I’m going to keep playing my game and try to get my team better every day, but that goal will always be in the back of my mind.”
Green Bay Southwest graduate Jaddan Simmons, now playing at Arizona State University, holds the Green Bay Metro scoring record with 1,885 career points.
Jenny Steffen (Eggers) played for the Redbirds from 2001-05 and was a two-time all-conference selection.
She helped De Pere win a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state title in 2005, the same year she was named all-state.
“I was a bit surprised it took 16 years for the record to be broken,” Jenny Steffen, who currently lives in Charleston, S. C., as a physical therapist, said. “With the limited season last year because of COVID-19, that didn’t help (Meulemans). I’m excited to see where the season takes the team – they’re playing well.”
Steffen, who missed a few games as a sophomore due to a knee injury, said she still thinks about the state title team her senior year in 2005.
“The biggest feat that season was beating Ashwaubenon (43-37 in the sectional final),” she said. “They had two or three Division I players and some other Division II players. We weren’t expected to win, but we had the Cinderella story – we had some good players, too.”
Once at state, De Pere rattled off three wins on consecutive days against Chippewa Falls, DeForest and Waukesha South.
The Redbirds, coached by Dave Johnson, finished the season 25-2.
After graduating from De Pere, Steffen played college basketball at Grand Valley State in Michigan and then transferred to Winona State in Minnesota to finish her career.
“My freshman year at Grand Valley, we won the (Division II) national championship,” Steffen said.