By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — A trio of Hilltopper basketball stars did not end their sports careers upon graduating high school.
Jacob Hierlmeier, along with brother-sister duo Marcus Kadinger and Morgan Kadinger, all opted to attend colleges or universities where they could pursue their chosen career paths while enjoying more time on the hardwood.
Hierlmeier and Marcus Kadinger, both 2015 Hilltopper graduates, have played two seasons now at their respective schools. Morgan Kadinger just closed out a respectable first season as a college athlete after graduating from Glenwood City High School in 2016.
Hierlmeier played his sophomore season with the MacMurray College Highlanders of Jacksonville, Illinois, in 2016-2017. The Glenwood City native, son of Angela and Gordy Hierlmeier, played a total of 67 minutes this season for the Highlanders, with 14 alone in the season’s game against Spalding University.
The sophomore player’s highest-scoring game came when he earned five points against Nebraska Wesleyan University. He was three for 15 with three point shots in 2016-2017, and pulled down one offensive rebound and four defensive ones on the season.
Todd Creal, head basketball coach for the Highlanders, did not respond to requests for comment.
Hierlmeier is also a member of the MacMurray College men’s golf team.
Mark Boyle, head coach of the Marian University Sabres men’s basketball team in Fond du Lac, can not say enough good things about Marcus Kadinger.
“He’s such a good person,” Boyle stated. “He never makes excuses and is one of our hardest-working, if not the hardest-working, players.”
The former Hilltopper has given his college coaches much to smile about in the two seasons he has been with them. While he played only 20 total minutes in the 2015-2016 season, Kadinger more than quadrupled his time on court this past season with a total of 91 minutes.
Boyle indicated Kadinger’s focus on and off the court have proven his value many times over to the campus.
“He’s not the kind of kid you have to tell something to twice,” Boyle noted. “I wish I had more like him. He’s so sharp.”
Kadinger is studying psychology and maintains a 3.95 GPA while participating in the sports program as an athlete and one of the men’s basketball team’s representatives for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
Marcus Kadinger is the son of Mike and Jodi Kadinger of Downing.
As if it was not enough for Mike and Jodi Kadinger to send their son to Fond du Lac to play basketball at Marian, they also saw their daughter Morgan off to Luther College in Wakefield, Iowa in the fall of 2016.
The younger Kadinger played in 10 of the Norse’s 27 2016-2017 varsity games, assisting the team to a second-place finish in the Iowa Conference. Head basketball coach Amanda Bailey said Morgan picked up some valuable playing experience as part of Luther’s junior varsity team as well.
“She was a spark for us when it came to rebounding, and she continued to improve every day,” Bailey noted.
The coaching staff at Luther College was drawn to Kadinger’s energy and aggression on the court, and noted she appears to have adjusted well to the speed and physicality of the college game. Bailey said Kadinger has a bright future in the program, and she is excited to see what Morgan can do in her second season.
Kadinger played only 29 varsity minutes in her first college season, but was one for five in field goals, two for two from the line, and reeled in 11 total rebounds.