Hulne: Hebrink family has put forth two decades of hoops for the Packers

Published 8:59 pm Monday, February 5, 2024

Nothing ages you like watching kids get older and if you live in Austin, nothing ages you like the Hebrink family.

When I arrived in Austin in the fall of 2007, Anna Hebrink was a freshman shooting guard for the Riverland Community College women’s basketball team. Fast forward 16 and a half years and Hebrink is now coaching with the Blue Devil women’s basketball team and her youngest brother Cole is a sophomore starting guard for the Austin Packers.

Between Anna and Cole were Gretchen, Sophia, Seth, Tate, and Elyse and every Hebrink has played basketball in Austin. Every one of the siblings but Seth and Cole saw time playing at Riverland and Tate and Elyse went on to play at Valley City State University, while Anna played for two years at Bemidji State University.

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When Anna was playing for RCC, Seth and Tate, who is now an assistant basketball coach for the Packer boys, were always on the court at halftime getting off as many shots as they could. Elyse was often at her mom’s side on the bench as an honorary manager.

I doubt any of the kids were ever forced to play, but basketball kind of came with being a Hebrink. The passion they held for the sport was obvious.

Considering Cole has two more years left with the Packers and Anna may have played as a sophomore, I’m estimating that there has been a Hebrink playing varsity basketball in Austin for about two decades.  

That is quite a legacy from one family and the family also played a vital role in the recent state tournament success of the Packer boys and girls as Tate and Elyse both enjoyed state tournament runs.

It has been enjoyable to cover Hebrink after Hebrink on the basketball court, but at the same time it has certainly made me feel old. 

Now every time I see a youngster running to the court at halftime, I always have to wonder. 

Is this the first of many?

I never can tell.