BIGFORK — On Monday, Feb. 15, Bigfork High School senior Natalie Haley got off of a chilly bus in Wrenshall knowing that one of her goals in basketball was about to happen.
Haley needed 12 points to be added to the Bigfork 1,000 Point Club. As with much of what she does, Haley made it happen.
She first saw varsity time as a seventh grader, and she has been a leader on the court ever since. According to head coach Greg Powell, “[Natlie is] a Northern Lakes All-Conference player, led us in scoring, rebounding and assists as a junior, and is a very unselfish player. She has developed into a very good leader for our young team.”
Being the lone senior, Haley has had to take on many roles including motivating her teammates and keeping them positive as the young team learns to gel with one another. When asked what she hoped for in her senior season, she stated, “I’m hoping that this season shows everyone that we can work together, even if we haven’t been playing with each other for long. I also hope others see that hard work and determination can win games, even if we are a young team.”
The Lady Huskies have 7 wins and 4 losses so far this season, despite having only two juniors and one sophomore backing the lone senior captain. The Huskies are finding depth in a strong crew of seven eighth graders, as well as in two seventh graders who are all seeing varsity minutes.
Assistant coach Siri Prato added that Haley is always good for making others laugh in practice, and as it goes with long-time players, she can be quite candid with Coach Powell, and their relationship is a testament to the many games they’ve had together. Haley saw floor time in two section finals games in 2017 and 2018, and she knows how to play in high-stakes pressure.
Natalie’s favorite memory from all of her years of basketball was when she was able to play with the boys’ team in elementary school in tournaments, as well as the section finals games.
Haley excels in the classroom as well as in volleyball and track, and she is excited to be attending Itasca Community College next year and joining their Class Act program. She has a natural aptitude for working with kids, and is excited for the next step in her education.
She noted that her many years of basketball have taught her the life-skills of “ leadership, working together with others, and learning how to go from being a rookie to being in charge” — all qualities that will continue to carry her.