Shake Kylie Giebelhausen’s family tree and it’s likely you just might get hit with a basketball.
The East Peoria senior has deep roots within hoops, especially the college game.
Her uncle, Ray Giacoletti, is the Drake men’s head coach. Former Richwoods all-stater and current Ball State part-time starter Kate Murphy is Giebelhausen’s cousin.
When she was in seventh grade, Giebelhausen watched Murphy and the Knights win the 2009 Class 3A state championship.
“She’s somebody I looked up to and kind of idolized,” said Giebelhausen, who scored a game-high 13 points in a 45-22 win over Lincoln on Thursday morning at the 35th Annual Manual Tournament.
Giebelhausen will continue that college basketball tradition. In November, she signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Peoria native Cindy Stein at Southern Illinois.
“Basketball kind of just runs in the family,” she said with a smile.
Every year it seems that Giebelhausen, who had a 6-inch growth spurt from junior high to high school, has added another facet to her game. Following her sophomore year, she concentrated on using her 6-foot-1 frame to become a better rebounder.
The results? The point forward averaged 8.8 rebounds during her junior season.
Her ability to attack the rim this season has been a vast improvement from her junior campaign, where she tended to settle for jump shots and 3-pointers, according to EP coach Jason Bowman.
“This year it’s just more of me finishing,” the Journal Star All-Area third-teamer said. “In fact, I’m getting more of my points from getting to the basket over shooting. I’m a little more aggressive.”
“We’ve picked something every year that we’ve thought that’s a weakness and Kylie put the work in,” Bowman added. “She’s turned all those weaknesses into strengths.
“I don’t know if there’s a real weak part to her game right now. Players like her don’t come around very often. She’s a special kid.”
Maybe Giebelhausen’s biggest strength, though, is her high basketball IQ. She’s used that to become a very versatile player.
One of the best example’s of that was last Saturday against Limestone. She scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked six shots, had four steals and two assists in a 48-39 win.
But filling up the stat sheet isn’t what’s important to Giebelhausen.
“I would rather win and have zero points then lose and have 20 points, because it’s not about me,” she said. “It’s more about the team.
Page 2 of 2 - “I’d rather have an all-around game than just be a scorer.”
Adam Duvall can be reached at 686-3207 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.