Athlete of the week: Freshman Kuca scores back-to-back double-doubles to lead Wagner girlsWAGNER — Some of Ali Kuca’s fondest memories are playing basketball in the driveway with her two older brothers, Brett and Chris.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
WAGNER — Some of Ali Kuca’s fondest memories are playing basketball in the driveway with her two older brothers, Brett and Chris.
The Wagner girls’ basketball player, who was taught to play basketball by her mom and dad, said that driveway games weren’t always easy and sometimes ended in tears but were all worth it.
Last week, the freshman recorded back-to-back double-doubles to help the Red Raiders win both of their games.
Kuca scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Andes Central Jan. 31 and had 15 points and 11 rebounds against McCook Central/Montrose Saturday.
The last time Kuca did not record a double-double was Jan. 12 vs. Lennox.
“Her offensive skills are really good. She can shoot the ball from the inside and out,” Wagner coach Mike Koupal said. “She is a good passer and she can create for herself.
“She just knows where the ball is going to be and she does a good job of controlling the glass in her area.”
For her efforts, Kuca has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Last season as an eighth-grader, Kuca came off the bench for the Red Raiders, who were 21-1.
“I owe it to my teammates because they push me really hard in practice and they make me a lot better,” Kuca said. “I don’t think about stats; when the game is over my stats are my stats, and it doesn’t matter how many points I scored or how many rebounds I had as long as I tried my hardest.”
Off the court, Kuca said she enjoys spending time with her family and having fun with her friends, but on the court she is ready to play and focused.
“My coaches and teammates always laugh at me because on the court I have my serious face on,” Kuca said.