Back from the brink: Heiderscheidt having career year

File photo by Steve Muscatello Heiderscheidt pulls up for a shot in a home game against St. Clair on Dec. 11, 2017.

SLEEPY EYE — Since her seventh-grade year, Madi Heiderscheidt has been helping the Sleepy Eye varsity girls’ basketball team reach success on the court.

She has dealt with injuries and tough losses along the way, but she remains strong, consistent and is an important piece of the puzzle for Sleepy Eye. Heiderscheidt passed 1,000 points for her career early in the 2017-2018 basketball season and more recently broke the school record in career assists with a five-assist night on Dec. 12.

The previous record for career assists was 310. She currently has 321 career assists and is continuing to increase the record number each game.

Heiderscheidt was part of Sleepy Eye’s 2015-2016 state tournament team but was forced to miss out on playing in the tournament due to a torn ACL that she suffered in a home game against Springfield on Jan. 8, 2016. She also missed out on a good portion of the season as a result of the injury.

Heiderscheidt recalled the injury and said that although it was tough to sit out, it made her stronger in the end and pushed her to improve.

“After all that stuff with my knee, I was really in a low place, and I never thought that I would be the type of player that I was before,” Heiderscheidt said. “So that took awhile for that to happen. Last year wasn’t the best year for me in my opinion, but then coming this year and actually being 100 percent and realizing that I’m probably even better and stronger than I was before, it’s a really nice feeling.”

Heiderscheidt also said that without the team around her, she would never have been able to accomplish the things she has in her career so far.

Sleepy Eye coach Ryan Hulke talked about how much Heiderscheidt brings to the team and said how proud he is to see what she has been able to accomplish given her comeback from her torn ACL.

“First of all, for Madi, it means a great deal,” Hulke said. “We had a lot of tears her sophomore and junior year, as she never thought she would be the same again. The three games before tearing her ACL, Madi was as good as any sophomore guard in the state, putting up 26 and 16 against two top-five state-ranked teams in Browerville and Mountain Iron-Buhl and then returns home to put up 30 against Cedar Mountain the next week.

“Then unfortunately, her next game is when her injury happened,” Hulke said. “After six to seven months of rehab, she looked great playing 3 on 3 in the fall. And then within our first week of practice, they had to go back in that same knee and clean it up. So again, Madi never really was healthy last year.

“Madi obviously had a goal of scoring 1,000 points from her seventh-grade year when she dressed varsity late in the year and scored a couple points,” Hulke said. “Even with missing a year of games, having girls in grades above her that moved on to play college ball, she was able to do so early into her senior year, which is a great accomplishment and shows her scoring ability.”

With an ability to score, read the defense and open things up with her passing, Heiderscheidt has shown an increase in her productivity this year.

She is averaging 22.5 points per game this year on 49.5 percent shooting, while dishing out 4.5 assists per game. She is also collecting 4.5 steals a game.

Last season, Heiderscheidt averaged 14.1 ppg, 4 apg and 2.4 spg.

Heiderscheidt said that she enjoys the group of girls around her and that they gel well together. She is hoping to help Sleepy Eye return to state this year.

“I would love to go to the state tournament,” Heiderscheidt said.

“The year we did was the year that I got hurt, so I unfortunately wasn’t able to play. But even just feeling the atmosphere and how excited the community was … it was something that I would love to have happen again and then this time actually being able to play.

“Hopefully, we don’t take any dips,” Heiderscheidt said. “I think we’ve been pretty consistent this season, so hopefully that continues.”

Considering what Heiderscheidt has had to deal with the last couple of years, the things she has been able to accomplish so far in her career are pretty special.

“Madi isn’t your typical female basketball player,” Hulke said. “There are a lot of things in her arsenal that you really only see when guys are on the court. Somehow, this small 5-6 point guard has the ability to throw 90-foot passes with either hand and drop them on a dime. Personally, I don’t get it, but I’m sure glad she’s on my team. She’s been a joy to coach and to see grow into an unbelievable basketball player and person.”


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