1,000 reasons Jarger is a team player

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By CYNTHIA WHITE

At its final home game of the regular season, Trinity celebrated three players on the team: Alison Sansone, Katie Jarger and Rachel Blonski in a special Senior's Night. For Jarger, it became an extra special night as she surpassed the 1,000-point mark of her varsity career on her first basket, a 3-pointer.

"Hitting a thousand and it being Senior Night, I couldn't ask for a better night," she said recalling that moment. "I never even thought I was close to a thousand."

Katie's parents had their daughter's stats and the milestone under wraps until after Trinity's victory against St Ignatius in the Girls Catholic Athlete Conference consolation game when Katie's nine points put her just two shy of the mark. They told her that evening at a family party. Before that, her dad downplayed that he knew the number was fast approaching.

"I did ask him once, but he just said, 'Yes, I do have it somewhere.' But my family members knew about it all season," laughed Katie.

It was about a minute into the game when Katie hit the three. "When I hit it, all my family and friends were standing up. I just laughed, wondering what the other team must be thinking, not many people knew about it," she said.

Katie, an excellent 3-point shooter, did not develop that part of her repertoire until high school. In grade school, her height put her in the post position. It was in high school that she became a guard and focused more on her outside shot. Before a game, shooting warm-ups helps her establish a rhythm. During a game, her first three can be a catalyst for more.

"Normally, when I hit one, I get my confidence up. It just usually flows from there."

The senior has played basketball since the 1st grade, starting out on park district teams. It was in the 5th grade that Katie first met and played against teammate Alison Sansone. By 6th grade, Katie transferred to the same school and has played basketball with Alison ever since. They are friends on and off the court.

"We were the only two girls who came to Trinity from our grade school," remembered Alison. "It got us close. I'm sure it helps us on the court, knowing each other so well and what each other can do."

Another big highlight in Katie's high school career was making it to the Elite Eight in her sophomore year.

"I didn't even think that would be the year that we would go downstate. In my freshman year, we got knocked out the first game. It was a tremendous experience to go downstate," she said.

Katie will attend Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., where she'll play basketball.

"It's a beautiful campus. I've already talked with the coach several times. I've been out there to see games, and he's been here to see my games. I'm really excited about next year." She plans on a double major of education and mathematics.

As a team captain, Katie is comfortable in a leadership role and strives to mentor and encourage the younger players on the team. Off the court, Katie is involved in the Campus Ministry. She has been nominated for the Vicariate Youth Leadership Award, and she will be honored along with 11 other Trinity students at a banquet in mid March.

Teamwork is very important to Katie. She even put her 1,000-point milestone in the team context.

"I don't look at it as an individual. I look at it as how much more it helped the team," she said. "My goal for this year is to go as far as we can. We've had our ups and downs throughout the season. The younger kids have stepped up tremendously. Seniors always come and go. With me and Ali leaving this year, I think that they can build their own team and continue with the journey."

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