On every basketball team there is always a player that can do a little bit of everything. They can score the ball when they need to, but they can also find a plethora of other ways to positively impact a team. For the BGSU women’s basketball, that player is sophomore guard Kadie Hempfling.
Hempfling is leading the team in assists and rebounds per game this season all while scoring 9.2 points per game as well. Her ability to play almost any position on the court is what has put her in this position.
“There are some things that I think stand out about Kadie. One is versatility, I think she has the ability to play all over the court. Two is basketball IQ, she is our best passer and playmaker. Three is competitiveness, I see it in practice every day, I see it in games so I think those qualities really stand out about her and are really beneficial to our team,” head coach Robyn Fralick said.
It’s that competitiveness that has allowed Hempfling to play through some of the tough losses this season. She believes that every game is just a new opportunity for the Falcons.
“We always have a chance every game. Every game is an opportunity to be able to win and to be able to show people what we have. I firmly believe every game that we are going to win, every time,” Hempfling said.
For Hempfling, there is more to basketball than just strictly competing in every game, there’s a bigger focus that can apply to things off of the court as well.
“I really try to focus on making the people around me better. So when I do that and the fact that I love to play basketball come together all at the same time, it just helps me be the player I am,” Hempfling said.
It is something that has always been in her, even going back to her days at Ottawa-Glandorf high school, she has always had a will to do the non-glamourous things on a basketball court, even if it meant less scoring for herself.
“I’ve always had a knack for the ball, to pursue the ball. Not being the tallest, that’s never really bothered me, I just always go after the ball to get myself into good positions. Passing has always been my favorite thing in basketball as well. I would much rather pass than score, because if I do have an assist that means we are still scoring,” she said.
But despite the efforts of Hempfling this season, the Falcons are still way below where they want to be, sitting at 1-13 inside the MAC so far this season.
That hasn’t discouraged Hempfling and the Falcons though. With so much of this current team returning next year, there is always something to build on for next season.
“It will be a lot of the same players coming back. So it’s just exciting in that aspect but it would be great if we could make a run in the MAC Tournament and just get some momentum going for next year so that we have higher expectations than what we have had,” she said.
The focus, however, is still on this season and Hempfling is a true believer that they can win any game they are a part of. The Falcons have stayed in a lot more games this season, which on its own is encouraging for them.
“Every game is so close that we have just been happening to come out on the other end. If one or two more plays went our way or we make one or two more plays then we would be on the other end. It’s really encouraging to know how close we are. But also I’m ready to turn the corner and be on the other side,” Hempfling said.
It’s why Hempfling and the Falcons have continued to play hard throughout the struggles of the season, and according to coach Fralick, the deep care for the program helps to keep them fighting every game.
“When you care about a program, when you care about doing things right, when you care about your team, the only choice is to keep playing hard and to keep getting better and to keep sticking together. I think Kadie has been instrumental with our team, but I also think that it is an indication that our culture is continuing to grow,” Fralick said.
For Hempfling specifically, coach Fralick really wants her to continue to work on her game and believes that if she can make the same jump that she saw from her sophomore year to her junior year next season, the Falcons could find themselves on the winning side much more often.
“She’s going to keep working defensively, I think that is going to be an area we are going to look to grow in. Scoring that has really developed from her freshman year but I know she can take another step being a consistent three-point shooter. She has a unique way of finding different ways to score, she can often be a mismatch and I think that is another step she is going to take,” Fralick said.
But while Hempfling’s scoring might improve, the hope is that her overall game will come along right with it, and she believes that raising her level will help to raise the level of her team going forward as well.
“I just want to make the people around me better as I’m playing. If I raise my own level I think that that can raise the level of the people around me too,” she said.
If the hopes that Fralick has for Hempfling come true, there is no telling what the Falcons might be capable of with all but two seniors returning to the team next season.
But no matter what the end results of the games are, Hempfling is going to continue to do what got her to Bowling Green in the first place, being a player that is willing to do anything and everything to help her team win.