Written by Rachel Krome
There are numerous milestones basketball players set out to achieve before their careers end and two Concordia University Wisconsin student-athletes reached a significant mark this season.
Tiffany Hendrickson and Katie Luethe surpassed the 1,000-point plateau before the regular season ended to join 13 previous players who are members of the illustrious club. It was an exciting two weeks for the women's basketball program as they earned their 500th win in program history and honored the duo, something that doesn't often happen twice in the same year.
As a senior, Hendrickson (Ingleside, Ill.) felt the expectations of her athletic career far exceeded what she expected, and her coaches and teammates helped her immensely as a player. Hendrickson is grateful to have joined the 1,000-point club and knows she could not have done it without her team's help.
"I couldn't have done it without my coaches and teammates," she said. "I never dreamed this would have happened to me when I came to CUW."
Like most players closing in on history, she was more worried about winning the game than the personal achievement. Needing 10 points entering the Jan. 19 matchup against Dominican University she was limited to just four points in the opening half.
The Falcons went to the pure shooter early and often after halftime to get her in the flow and the six points she needed. After a pair of jump shots, Hendrickson reached 1,000 points on a layup with 17:34 to play in the game.
She was unaware of her point total until the public address announcer told the crowd, which erupted in applauses and cheers. Hendrickson knows it was an amazing accomplishment, but winning games was more important to her this season.
"The coaches helped me a lot to developing into the player I am," Hendrickson said. "It makes me smile when people tell me I am a 1,000 point scorer because I know it is such a small group who has accomplished the goal."
With the possibility of clinching the Northern Athletics Conference North Division and scoring her 1,000 point, one would think the pressure would have been too much for Luethe, but she had faith in the outcome. Teammates, friends and family were reminding her as the points dwindled, but Luethe tried not to focus on it too much.
The game did not start the way she had envisioned with two missed free throws and field goals, a turnover and time on the bench. She eventually drained a 3-pointer midway through the first half against Marian University on Feb. 5 to break the mini slump. From then on fans could see the weight had been lifted off her shoulders and she could just play the game.
Needing 13 points entering the game she tallied the 1,000 point of her career on a layup with 17:45 to play in the second half to secure the momentous feat. Luethe did not completely realize she had reached the milestone until everyone in the crowd started cheering.
What are Luethe's plans after scoring her 1,000 point, knowing she is just a junior?
"Keep on moving on," she said. "We have bigger things to think about. I'm not really concerned with the personal aspect, but I'm happy we're getting a ring for winning the North Division. I'm going to play my game and whatever happens, happens."
Luethe seemed to sum it up best, "Having two, 1,000 point scorers in one season is pretty darn cool."