What is the link between the best shooters in UW women's basketball history?
No, the answer is....they are 'nearly' all from small towns.
Of the top-five 3-point shooters in UW's career category, four of the five are from towns of less than 5,000 people.
At No. 1 is fabled shooter, Jolene Anderson who was from tiny Port Wing, Wis. (pop. 250); No. 2 is Katie Voigt of metropolitan Woodruff, Wis. (pop. now 4,918); at No. 4 is Stephanie Rich, who grew up on a farm outside Crawfordsville, Iowa (pop. 327 at its peak in 1999); and fifth is Dolly Rademaker of Thorp, Wis. (pop. 1,753).
The exception coming in at No. 3 is Kyle Black (Rechlicz), who was a gym rat from Indianapolis and now is head women's basketball coach at Milwaukee.
This common link made these players excel for a very good reason. In a small town, you invent your own fun and to these athletes, the most fun was shooting hoops.
I know this because I am from a small town, and that was a passion of mine, too, until the ankles gave out and I turned to golf instead. In a small town, there is a hoop in nearly every driveway (or on the barn for Stephanie), and a game of H.O.R.S.E. is easily generated.
I bring this to your attention because Rademaker is going to be honored next week for that shooting prowess among other talents. She will be inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 13 in Madison. The four-year letterwinner from 1990-94 played in 111 games as a Badger, averaging 7.4 points per game. She is the first UW player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since girls' were included in 2010.
Dolly was an all-state guard and Miss Wisconsin Basketball award winner that drew the attention of a lot of college recruiters. But she wanted to play for her home state school and found a place in the varsity lineup almost from the beginning.
As a senior in high school, she averaged 28.7 points per game. With the tougher defenses in college, that figure dropped considerably, but not the accuracy. Dolly still owns the school record for best 3-point shooting percentage in a season hitting 43.8 percent of her shots (63-144) in 1993-94. She also has the fourth-best 3-point percentage in a season at 40.5 in 1990-91.
More than the stats, Dolly also made her mark in the classroom where she earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three years. She graduated with a degree in physical therapy and works as a therapist in Menomonie, Wis., where I am sure she is teaching that deadly stop-and-pop shot to her three children - Brock, Shelby and Brody.
Congratulations to Dolly Rademaker Thornton on this wonderful honor. It shows that being from a small town doesn't prevent one from dreaming big and accomplishing those goals and even making it to a Hall of Fame!
NOTE: Dolly Rademaker is just the ninth girl player and the first UW-Madison player in the WBCA Hall of Fame. Click here for full listing.
Most UW Career 3-Point Goals
1. Jolene Anderson 248 2004-08
2. Katie Voigt 234 1993-98
3. Kyle Black 191 1998-02
4. Stephanie Rich 182 2002-05
5. Dolly Rademaker 173 1990-94
Author Tamara Flarup was the long-time Director of Women's Sports Information at Wisconsin from 1977-2001, and today continues to work in the athletics program as the Director of Website Services and home blogger for women's basketball. She was the sports information contact during Dolly's reign.