Catch Up With Colin: Former Rocket Knudsen Named Preseason All-American | Sports



Elyce Knudsen accomplished quite a few things as a Unity High School basketball player.

She set the school’s all-time record regardless of gender, her 1,956 points surpassing a mark previously held by former NBA forward Brian Cardinal.

She guided the Rockets’ women’s basketball to 22 wins and a 2020 Class 2A regional championship, the program’s first since 2008.

And she was named The News-Gazette All-Area Female Basketball Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season.

Could Knudsen continue this success at the college level? Absoutely.

Knudsen’s freshman season with Millikin women’s basketball resulted in an 11-3 record and the Illinois-Wisconsin College Conference tournament championship for the Big Blue.

Knudsen propelled Millikin into the pandemic-stricken campaign, being named CCIW Newcomer of the Year, Central Region Rookie of the Year and Division III All-American Honorable Mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches. Association.

With all of that recognition past, it makes sense that Knudsen opened November by being named the fourth preseason All-American team.

“It’s something I work for,” Knudsen said on Friday, less than 24 hours before Millikin began his 2021-22 season at home against Westminster (Mo.) College. “It’s definitely an honor, especially at my age. I am one of the only second year students to receive this honor.

Knudsen averaged 18.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals per outing for the Big Blue last season.

“I spent a lot of time in the gym preparing my shots. I’ve tried to get back in shape for the season, ”Knudsen said. “It’s a different year. I’m just getting ready for that, and obviously I’m really excited to start.

Knudsen’s first foray into college football was certainly unusual. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has limited CCIW teams to only intra-conference matches.

The Big Blue are set to play 25 regular season games in Knudsen’s second round. This includes a trip on November 16 to DePauw, currently the 19th ranked team on the rankings. Millikin is ranked 22nd.

“I’m even more excited to have my family back in the stands,” Knudsen said. “It plays an important role in the season. We return everyone again. With the same group of girls it will be fun.

With fans able to attend Big Blue contests again, Knudsen can’t wait to experience a truer college atmosphere inside the Decatur-based Griswold Center.

“I don’t take chances to play for granted,” Knudsen said.

Colin Likas is the preparations coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter at @clikasNG.


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