Minooka's Heide is playing through the pain
Though Erin Heide was injured during her junior varsity basketball season at Minooka, she averaged nearly nine points a game and was named Morris Daily Herald All-Area.
After scoring 15 points in a 40-36 win over Providence on Monday night, which moved the Indians to 12-3 on the season, Heide agreed to answer some questions from the MDH.
Q. How is your foot holding up this season?
A. This season, I have had some slight pain here and there but nothing I can’t play through. While playing AAU this past summer, I did have some recurring pain and actually sprained my other foot. During the month of August, I took some time off to fully recover and was ready to get back in the gym by September. Fortunately, our entire team has been healthy this season.
Q. What could you, and could the team, have done last season if you had been healthy?
A. It was very disappointing to have had the stress fracture just a few weeks after the season started. It was very difficult to sit on the sideline and watch my team play. I wanted to contribute to my team’s success and worked hard to reach my goal of coming back for regionals. In the end, our team was successful and accomplished our No. 1 goal, which was winning regionals for the third year in a row.
Q. You’ve been part of a decent amount of success while you’ve been in the program, especially in the postseason, but this year’s team is winning at a much higher rate than the last few have. Why? What is going right?
A. This year’s team was very dedicated in the offseason working together to improve individually and as a team. Most of us have played AAU basketball together the past two summers, which has really helped us get to know each other on and off the court. We came into the season having played about 30 games against quality teams, which allowed us to better understand each other’s strengths and how we can play better as a team. Our strength as a team is quickness and the ability to use that effectively. We are also sharing the ball very well and taking quality shots.
Q. How does your game mesh with the new guard starting alongside you, Brooklyn Bachmann?
A. Brooklyn played with our AAU team this summer, which allowed me to understand her game and how we can work together for success. Her speed and ability to pass the ball has certainly provided opportunities for me to contribute more offensively.
Q. In what ways are you a different player now than when you first joined the varsity?
A. When I look back at my first year on varsity, I was not as confident as I am now. I have taken on more of a leadership role as I have gained more experience on the varsity level. This role has guided me to play my game in a way that will best help the team.
Q. Your brother, Ben, was also a basketball player at Minooka. Did you sort of follow him into the game?
A. Ben and I both started playing basketball competitively in third grade. We were inspired and encouraged by my dad, who played basketball at Central Michigan University. A lot of my time growing up was spent in the gym with my dad and Ben.
Q. Were the two of you competitive with one another in the backyard or the driveway?
A. We were and still are very competitive on and off the court. Many games of HORSE and 1-on-1 taught me to be creative and aggressive because he was stronger and taller. These backyard games inspired me to continue to work hard because I wanted him to be proud of me.
Q. I know Ben played last year at North Central. Are you hoping to continue in basketball beyond this year, and if so, how’s the search going?
A. I love the game of basketball and it has been a very important part of my life for a long time. I have made a number of college visits and have talked to coaches, but I have not made a final decision as to what my plans are when our season ends.