POTW: Bartlett's Haley Videckis

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
7:03
PM CT
Some people relax by mediating. Some find a comfy couch and a good book.

Bartlett senior Haley Videckis grabs a basketball and gets to the nearest court. Whether she’s stressed about school, home or anything else, basketball releases her of it.

“I have a lot of stresses to balance in my life,” Videckis said. “Once you step on the court, all the chains break loose. I just love the feeling.”

[+] EnlargeHaley Videckis
Scott Powers for ESPNChicago.comHaley Videckis has helped Bartlett jump out to a 9-0 start this season.
It doesn’t hurt that the Indiana-bound Videckis is pretty good at basketball, too. She’s emerged as one of the area’s premier players and is among the reasons why Bartlett is hopeful of a trip downstate this state.

Videckis is the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Week.

“She always has been a scorer for our team,” Bartlett coach Denise Sarna said. “I think she was a little overshadowed by the kids we had. We had quite a few seniors who contributed last year, especially [Wisconsin recruit] Jacki [Gulczynski].

“We certainly knew how good she was, but she just wasn’t the high point scorer. Last year, we had a good player who would be the other team’s focus. This year that’s been Haley’s job.”

Videckis may be Bartlett’s go-to player and its leading scorer, averaging 18.8 points, but she doesn’t feel as if the pressure’s on her to succeed. She believed Bartlett is 9-0 and ranked No. 6 in the area because it’s a true team.

“Every time somebody tries shut one of us down the other four pick it up,” Videckis said. “It’s proven that it’s tough to stop us all.”

Opponents have focused on Videckis more than anyone else. She’s already seen her share of box-and ones. But despite the extra concentration, Videckis has still gotten hers, and that can be contributed to her offseason work on shooting.

Videckis has always been a threat to get to the basket, but she looked to diversify her game more this offseason. Through nine games, she’s shown the hard work has paid dividends. She’s shot 43 percent from 3-point range, making 24-of-53 attempts.

“She’s worked her tail off on her shooting,” Sarna said. ‘I’ll tell you what -- she can shoot. It’s been so helpful to our team. She has such range that it really stretches the defense.”

Putting in that extra effort has never been difficult for Videckis, who is also averaging 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.4 steals and one block.

“She’s a perfectionist,” Sarna said. “She’s very self-motivated. She puts in a lot of time. It’s been fun to watch her grow. She’s become quite a player.”

Videckis’ motivation goes back to her love for the game.

“I’ve just seen myself progress so much from my freshman year to now,” she said. “I’ve basically committed my soul to play basketball. It’s what makes me free. I love the things I get out there.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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