Basketball: BP’s Worke commits to Winona State University

Published 6:55 pm Monday, September 15, 2014

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Blooming Prairie senior Madison Worke has spent a lot of time with her dad, BP head girls basketball coach John Worke, on the basketball court ever since she’s been a freshman in high school. After this year, Madison plans on spending even more time on the basketball court, but she won’t be playing for her dad anymore.

Madison made her verbal commitment to play women’s basketball at Division II Winona State University with a partial athletic scholarship Monday. WSU was one of her final three teams as she was also considering one other Division II school and a Division III school.

Blooming Prairie's Madison Worke shoots over the Lyle-Pacelli's Madison Truckenmiller and Ann Rysavy in last season. -- Herald File Photo

Blooming Prairie’s Madison Worke shoots over the Lyle-Pacelli’s Madison Truckenmiller and Ann Rysavy in last season. — Herald File Photo

“I knew I wanted to go there and the campus is beautiful. Academically it’s great, and they have a great basketball program too,” Madison said. “I’m beyond excited. It’s kind of a weight of my shoulders [to know where I’m going].”

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Madison, a 3-sport athlete at BP, has excelled with BP’s softball and volleyball teams as well. She’s likely going to finish her career with the most set assists in school history for the volleyball team and she won a state championship on the softball team as a sophomore.

In basketball, she helped lead the Awesome Blossoms to the Section 1A West finals last year as she averaged 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 blocks per game for BP on the season. Madison is currently third in BP career assists and she needs 78 assists to move into first place. She is fourth in career scoring at BP, with a realistic chance to finish her career in second.

John said he has dealt with his players being recruited in the past — BP senior Taylor Hagen has already to committed to Division I University of Northern Iowa — but it was a little different for him having his own daughter recruited. He recalled bringing Madison to a Winona State women’s basketball game last year and Madison thought she could play for the Warriors as she watched them.

Now she’ll have that chance next season.

“It’s been a long process. We spent a lot of money, time and effort on the sport,” John said. “It’s nice for her to get rewarded. I think she really loves basketball and she’s been told by like every coach she has talked to that her ceiling is so high that it’s off the charts.”

Madison, who doesn’t turn 18 years old until August, has mostly played guard for the Blossoms, but she’s more likely to play shooting guard or small forward at the next level. At 5-10, she can create some matchup problems in the backcourt.

While playing under her dad at BP has been fun for Madison, she felt she earned her scholarship offer by playing in the less glamorous AAU games with the Southern Minnesota Fury over the summer. That’s when college coaches are watching and that’s when players get noticed.

“I feel like without AAU, I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many looks. College coaches are always there watching you and if I hadn’t played AAU I don’t know if anybody would’ve even noticed me,” Madison said. “It goes to show that hard work does pay off. Taylor and I have loved basketball since we were little fourth graders on the traveling team and we’ve always wanted to play basketball.”

John said that Madison and Hagen have been hard workers since they started playing basketball. He noted that sometimes high school players work so hard to get a scholarship offer that they are burned out and sick of the sport by the time they get to college — where the work becomes harder and the commitment requires more sacrifices.

He doesn’t see that happening to either of these players.

“I’m so happy for both Madison and Taylor,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success in Blooming Prairie and I’m not taking anything away from any of the kids I’ve coached, but these two kids have put more time into this sport than any other that has come through our program.”

Madison has improved her game every year playing under her dad, but this will be the last season she will play for him. She said things will be different when she gets to college.

“It’ll be weird not having him there, but he’ll be at my games [watching],” Madison said. “I think it’ll be good for me to have different coaches.”

The Warriors went 10-17 overall last season.