It isn’t often that the two Players of the Year on The Lima News Basketball Dream Teams come from the same school.
But it isn’t often that a school gets two players like Ottawa-Glandorf’s Jay Kaufman and Kadie Hempfling at the same time.
Hempfling, a 5-9 guard who has signed with Bowling Green State University, has been a first-team All-Ohio player the last two seasons and played in the girls state basketball tournament all four years of her high school career.
Kaufman was a first-team All-Ohio selection in basketball this season and a second-team all-state player as a junior.
They are great players. Great competitors. Great teammates.
“All the personal accolades are great and she obviously deserves them but they’re not who Kadie is. She was upset that she didn’t have more assists than points,” Ottawa-Glandorf girls basketball coach Troy Yant said.
“Obviously, she has been a great teammate. We put that concept above anything else. She came in at a time when we were kind of breaking through. She came in at a time when we were starting to have some success and really kind of put it on her shoulders to maintain that success.
“She was able to elevate the play of people around her,” he said.
Hempfling averaged 14.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.8 steals a game this season, numbers that reflect the variety of roles she played for the Titans.
“When we needed her to rebound, she’d rebound. If we needed a post presence, it was, ‘Go down there and get some baskets for us.’ Whatever we saw in the scouting report as a weakness in two days time we could kind of get her into that position where that’s what she’d do in the game,” Yant said.
Kaufman, a 6-5 post player, averaged 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a game in a season in which he came back from his second ACL surgery in high school.
Those numbers are almost identical to what he put up as a junior before the injury.
He was second-team All-Ohio in football as a junior as a quarterback when he threw for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 yards and was being recruited by NCAA Division I schools.
He missed last football season and the first seven games of the basketball season but was back on the basketball court nine months after his injury.
“It shows a lot about the toughness and character of the kid. He was devastated and rightly so – your second torn ACL, not being able to play football your senior year. He worked so hard because he just wanted to be out there competing,” Ottawa-Glandorf boys basketball coach Tyson McGlaughlin said.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I knew he was going to work hard but you never know how people are going to respond with an injury like that. But what he did this year was spectacular.
“This was his last hurrah. He knew he was going to miss football but he was bound and determined he wasn’t going to miss basketball,” he said.
The other members of the boys Dream Team are: Brody Bowman (Temple Christian), Javin Etzler (Crestview), Owen Hiegel (Ottawa-Glandorf), Drew Johnson (Pandora-Gilboa), Jacoby Kelly (Van Wert), Mark Kuhlman (Miller City), Tyler Mescher (Marion Local), B.J. Miller (Lima Senior) and Daniel Unruh (Elida).
The other members of the girls Dream Team are: Lexi Jacobs (Wapakoneta), Bridget Landin (Ottoville), Carlee McCluer (Columbus Grove), Kierra Meyer (Leipsic), Paige Motycka (Crestview), Courtney Prenger (Minster), Nakiya Sigman (Lima Senior), Alissa Stahler (Shawnee) and Shyah Wheeler (Elida).
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.