Lincoln girls basketball star Kloe Froebe verbally committed to Colorado State University over the past week.
The Rams have generated eight winning seasons over the past decade under head coach Ryun Williams out of the Mountain West Conference.
Senior point guard McKenna Hofschild, who will return for one more season, sustained that competitive edge with 20.6 points and 7.2 assists per game and was named the league’s MVP.
More:Lincoln girls basketball chalks up litany of records in unforgettable run to second place
Froebe, The State Journal-Register’s two-time Large School Girls Basketball Player of the Year, can certainly help the Rams forge ahead without Hofschild. The junior point guard led the Railsplitters to their first state finals appearance since 1999 and wound up second place in Class 3A. She averaged 28.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.6 steals and 5.0 assists in a 36-1 campaign.
She also finished runner-up for the Ms. Basketball of Illinois award.
Froebe said she turned to her older siblings for advice during the decision process.
Her sister, Kaelyn, played at NCAA Division II McKendree University while her brother, Kaden, just went through his sophomore year at D-II Missouri S&T.
She is now back on the AAU circuit with her mom, Kari, who was the 1994 Peoria Journal-Star Class A Girls Basketball Player of the Year herself.
Here is a Q&A with the area’s premier guard:
Q: What led you to pick Colorado State?
A: The campus is really beautiful, and Colorado is just a beautiful state. I got to meet with some of the girls and I just felt like I really fit in with them, and the coaches really believed in me. Even when I was hurt and everything, they believed in me, so I think that really stuck out to me.
Q: When did Colorado State first reach out and express interest in you?
A: Last year, I talked to them quite a bit. They offered last summer, and then they came to a few of our high school games.
Q: What was your first impression hearing from Colorado State?
A: The first time I heard from them, I just knew that right away they were super genuine. You can kind of tell sometimes when a school’s a little bit more on the business side or when they actually, truly care. And I could tell that they really, truly cared just talking to them, so I really liked that.
More:Here are The State Journal-Register’s top-24 girls basketball players for 2022-23
Q: Were you able to meet with Ryun Williams and what is he like?
A: I actually visited there twice, so I got to meet with him in-person twice, and obviously I’ve talked with him on the phone, but he’s amazing. He’s a really great coach. He truly believes in me, and I really appreciate that. And I just feel like we have the same sort of basketball ideas. Our styles are very similar.
Q: How are they similar?
A: Just like his offense and the way they run their offense. We had a meeting where we sat down and we watched film on them about where I would fit in. A lot of it looked like offenses that we run at our high school.
Q: Do they do a 1-2-2 (zone defense) also?
A: They do not. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to play some man.
Q: That might be an adjustment.
A: Yeah, we’re going to have to learn that the summer before hopefully.
Q: I remember your sophomore year you were getting all of these offers. I think Illinois Elite, if I remember right, was the group that really helped you along the way. How much did they help you, and maybe your parents (Kari and Kent), too?
A: My mom started our whole AAU team. We started with the (Springfield) Predators, so she really helped me get out there and play really good competition. My parents, they really helped me get on to this Illinois Elite team, which is based out of Chicago. And after we joined that team (in eighth grade), I really started to flourish and got my first offer with them. It’s been a really great experience for us. I got to have my mom as my coach, too, on my travel team, so that’s been really nice.
Q: How much are you and your mom kind of hitting the road again and keeping that going this year?
A: We’re on the road right now. It’s just given us a lot of time. We spend a lot of our summer together and we started a little food blog thing with all of the restaurants in the different states that we go to. We like to take pictures and rate it.
Q: What’s something you want to work on as far as basketball goes?
A: This summer, I’m just really working on my footwork and just getting stronger and faster. Obviously, that’s a really big change going from high school to college is just the strength and quickness-wise. And just working on developing my game in all aspects.
Q: I was looking at the last few years at Colorado State. They’ve reeled off a few 20-win seasons there. How much did that help convince you what kind of program that was?
A: They have an all-American point guard (McKenna Hofschild) right now that will be leaving when I’m entering, so I could kind of see they run a lot through her. I’m hoping that I can follow in her footsteps and take on that leadership role.
Contact Bill Welt: 788-1545,email@example.com, Twitter.com/BillWelt