Oskey named Miss Basketball 2017-2018 in the state by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association
By Greg Bates
ACN & Times-Press sports correspondent
Hailey Oskey received some unexpected news on March 5.
Seymour girls basketball coach Bobby Kuchta and the school’s activities director Ryan Spaulding gave Oskey the good word that she had been named Miss Basketball 2017-18 in the state by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
“I didn’t say anything at first because I was really surprised that I got it,” said Oskey, who recently wrapped up her senior season at Seymour. “I was happy that I did. It was pretty exciting.”
In a long line of solid basketball players produced in Seymour, Oskey is the first girls or boys player to be named the state’s top player.
“It’s an awesome honor,” Seymour girls basketball coach Bobby Kuchta said. “For our program, all these younger kids look up and see they’ve got something to shoot for – an awesome role model to look up to.”
According to Jack Hervert from the WBCA, there were six finalists for the award. The names of the other five student-athletes weren’t revealed.
“I didn’t know who the other candidates were,” Kuchta said. “Was I surprised? Maybe a little bit, because she didn’t have the 30-point average per game. I think she’s certainly one of the best in the state for sure.”
It was announced to the public on the Saturday morning of the state girls basketball tournament that Oskey had won the award. That night at halftime of the Division 2 state championship game at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon, Oskey was honored at midcourt.
Oskey and Kuchta were able to talk to Hervert about why she was chosen.
“He said that what stood out for me from the other players was that I was a more all-around player with passing and rebounding – doing more than just the scoring part,” Oskey said. “Obviously, all of us that were nominated could probably score. But for me, I think that’s something I’ve improved on anyway the last two years is being an all-around player.”
Oskey, who will play next season at Green Bay, averaged 18.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game during her senior year.
“I think it was her overall body of her work for the season and just kind of how she’s improved,” Kuchta said. “She just became more of an all-around player this year than she was last year. Points were up by a little; her rebounds were up by quite a few – 2 ½ or 3 a game – that’s something she really focused on. I challenged her just to be more of an all-around player.”
Said Oskey: “I thought my senior year was my best year out of all four years.”
Oskey’s assists and steals were up, too. She was a more efficient player as well, shooting 51 percent from the field.
“She didn’t have games where she was like 4-for-20 like last year,” Kuchta said. “It was much more efficient, 12-for-20 or 15-for-20 this year.”
Oskey was just so hard to defenses to stop. Her ability to do everything on the court and get her teammates involved made her shine on the court.
“Just so explosive and versatile,” Kuchta said. “To do it in so many different ways: shoot the 3, get to the rim, get to the free throw line, get a big steal or a transition bucket. Tough matchup for anybody, too. That’s got to be their No. 1 focus, to stop her.”
The school’s all-time leading scorer for girls and boys, Oskey led her team in scoring all four years in high school. She also helped the program win 75 games during that span. Seymour went 23-2 this season and reached the sectional semifinals.
“A big part of the reason she got picked, too, is the team success,” Kuchta said. “I think that has something to do with it. People notice the team and they’re watching who’s on that team. Obviously, she couldn’t have done it without her teammates. We were a really solid team this year. We had girls that pushed her and made her better and got her the basketball, too.”
Oskey and senior teammate Jenna Krause were both named to the WBCA All-Star Division 2 North team.
Oskey committed to Green Bay as a sophomore and can’t wait to get to college and help the perennial top 25 team in the country. Kuchta believes with Oskey’s ability as a scorer and slasher, she translates to a shooting guard/small forward at the next level.
Oskey plans on working hard over the summer to get ready for Division I basketball.
“She had a heck of a year, but there’s a lot she can improve on yet,” Kuchta said. “I think with time and that level of coaching, I think she’s just going to excel.”
Hailey Oskey, third from left was honored at midcourt during the Division 2 state championship game at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon. Her coach Bobby Kuchta is at her side.