Athlete of the Week: Fall Creek’s Joey Kinderman

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FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU) -- He rushed for over 1,500 yards in his football career as a running back for Fall Creek, and just last Friday night, he surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his basketball career. Fall Creek’s Joey Kinderman is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week.

Drive the middle, spin, and put up a high percentage shot: just the way Joey Kinderman and his coach, Rick Storlie, have been drawing it up for years.

“We’ve been talking about that and working on that move since he was a freshman. It was very special for him, his family, for all the Crickets here, for me personally as well,” Storlie said. “It was a great moment in Fall Creek history. That night that he did that, he had 9 assists. He wasn’t really caring about when he was going to get that 1,000th.”

“It’s not all about that to me: it’s about getting wins at the end of the day. I can’t get 1,000 points without my teammates,” Kinderman said of the milestone.

And those teammates? He’s got a lot of them. Ten of them happen to be graduating in a couple months.

“With the enrollment we have, to have 11 seniors that stuck it out all these years, I have to give these guys a lot of credit,” Storlie said. “They come to practice every night. Some of them may not see a lot of action on game night, but they’re working hard in practice and that just makes us better.”

“Since we were younger – second grade, we’d show up to the Y every Saturday morning and play. Now, we’re just at a different level. It’s a level that matters. You’re going somewhere. You’re playing for a community. You represent something,” Kinderman said.

Kinderman will head to Aurora University to play basketball this fall. The Spartans will be adding some top-notch leadership.

“He’s just a natural leader. He’s just a person you can follow and you know you can rely on. He’s always got that ‘want to get better (attitude).’ You come in in the morning and he’s always shooting, lifting, wanting to get better all the time,” senior Brady Nicks said.

“His work ethic away from the game; he puts in a lot of time. In the summer, he put up a lot of shots. He’s played a lot of basketball,” Storlie said. “He shows his leadership on the floor. He’s always hustling out there. Great kid, very coachable kid.”

The Crickets started the season slow with a 2-4 record, but then went on to win 9 of their next 10 games.

“I think the key to that was we started playing together as a team. We cherished the ball a little more. We didn’t turn it over. We were averaging 20-24 turnovers a game and we just didn’t get a lot of opportunities to score,” Storlie said.

“If you look right away, we started out slow. We just weren’t playing together,” Kinderman said. “We just weren’t jiving right. Then all of a sudden, we started jiving. We started getting some wins and we were starting to compete with some really good teams, getting some really big wins.”

As a team, the Crickets are hoping to get hot at the right time and make a run in the Division 4 playoffs as they received the 3-seed in their regional.