Tessa Cichy ready to become a University of Wisconsin BadgerTessa Cichy conquered the Minnesota High School basketball scene and this week she begins her next challenge.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Tessa Cichy conquered the Minnesota High School basketball scene and this week she begins her next challenge.
Cichy left Sunday to begin work with the University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s basketball team. Practices and summer classes were scheduled to begin on Monday.
Cichy, of Somerset, was one of the top high school players in Minnesota last season, leading Hill-Murray to the Minnesota Class AAA state tournament. Cichy holds 16 Hill-Murray basketball records including most career points (2,366), most rebounds (1,001), assists (649) and steals (479).
Badger coach Bobbie Kelsey spoke glowingly last week about the addition of Cichy to the basketball program.
“Tessa is an unbelievable play maker and passer. She sees the court very well but can also create her own shot. She brings physical and mental toughness, aggressiveness and a competitive nature that will be difficult to match,” Kelsey said.
Cichy is joining the Badgers as a preferred walk-on, meaning there are no guarantees about scholarships. That doesn’t bother her in the least. She said she’s planning to work hard with the Badgers this summer and fall and earn playing time as a freshman.
A number of other high echelon universities recruited Cichy, including Notre Dame, Northwestern, Boston College and North Carolina State. When decision time came, it was an easy choice.
“I love Wisconsin. My sister goes there. Several members of my family have gone there. Wisconsin was the place I always wanted to be,” she said.
Colleges weren’t just recruiting Cichy because of her basketball skills. She is also an outstanding student. Her grade point average above 4.0 and high ACT score had the top academic institutions in the country contacting her. Cichy plans to major in biology. Her goal is to attend medical school to become a pediatric surgeon.
A Hill-Murray game in January showed how Cichy’s basketball skills stand out. Hill-Murray battled Mahtomedi through four overtimes before the Pioneers won 103-96. Cichy put together one of the biggest scoring shows in several years in Minnesota, finishing with 51 points. And she accomplished that while sitting out 12 minutes of the second half in foul trouble. Included in that performance was some sensational free throw shooting, with Cichy making 24 of 27 free throws.
Cichy’s teammate at Hill-Murray, Claire Van Dyk of New Richmond, has also been working toward her college athletic career. Van Dyk has committed to play volleyball at Bryant College. Van Dyk is scheduled to report for practice at Bryant on Aug. 9. She has two national tournaments she will be competing in this summer. This week she will be playing in a tournament in Orlando, Fla. Van Dyk will compete in the Junior Olympic nationals from June 27-July 1. Her team won the 18 Open at the Minneapolis Qualifier to earn a spot in the JO nationals.