Friday Night Sports Hero: Kynlee Strauser
Gothenburg High School
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Gothenburg’s Kynlee Strauser has been a four-year starter on the basketball team and has helped them to an NSAA State Basketball Tournament appearance in the 2021-22 season where they finished fourth. The basketball court isn’t the only place that Strauser shines for the Swedes, she also excels on the volleyball court. In the 2021-22 season, Strauser helped the Swedes to their very first appearance at the State Volleyball Tournament, then in the 2022-23 season, she helped them get back there again where they finished runner-up to Grand Island Central Catholic.
In a way, it was volleyball that helped Strauser get into basketball. Strauser also found that basketball was something that she could share with her whole family.
“I think growing up everyone else really enjoyed volleyball, and that’s kind of what I first got into. Then once I got into basketball, I found that it’s something that I really love and it’s something that I found I could do with my whole family, obviously my dad is a coach, so it’s something we can bond over. My brother is also a student manager,” explains Strauser.
Head Coach of the Swedes, Kassie Schuett, began coaching at Gothenburg when Strauser was a sophomore. Schuett says there has been a huge amount of growth from Strauser not only on the court but off the court as well. Strauser has truly grown into her role as a leader of the team and because of her work ethic has grown into an even greater basketball player.
“You know she’s grown tremendously not only as an athlete but as a person. She’s been really fun to coach. You know overall she plays ball in the summer and she plays ball year around, so I think that growth has come directly from that, and she puts 100% effort into everything that she does on the court and off the court. A lot of the growth that she has goes to her own effort,” says Schuett.
Strauser will attend Concordia University next year to continue her basketball career. Strauser first became interested in Concordia when the Gothenburg girls attended a team camp at the school. What made Concordia “the one” for Strauser was the family feel of the team.
“One of our team camps was at Concordia and I talked to the coach there and he told me he would love it if I came for a visit. When I got to go I got to tour the whole school and the basketball facility, some of the girls on the team actually gave me the tour. Then, I got to scrimmage with them after the tour was over. It was good meeting all the girls and it really just felt like a family there and the type of environment I would want to be in. I loved the coaches and I loved the girls that I met, so it was just a really good experience and that was where I wanted to go,” explains Strauser.
And while Strauser will undoubtedly be remembered for the success she has helped bring to both the volleyball team and the girl’s basketball team, she also wants to be remembered for her actions off the court.
“I want people to see me not necessarily for what I do on the court, but how I lead off the court. I also want to be an inspiration to the younger girls to show them that they can have fun on the court and off the court, and an example of the character that they should have. Just really try to build the program and get those younger girls involved in basketball when they get older,” says Strauser.
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