Heidi Schmidt is Steady Mentor for Salem's Young Hoops Team
Lone senior on Rocks squad leads by example.
Heidi Schmidt's bread-and-butter sport is softball, but she's pretty good at toasting opponents on the basketball court as well.
Schmidt holds the rare distinction of being the only senior on the Salem girls basketball team's roster this winter.
Although Salem has gotten off to a rocky start in the win-loss column (2-5), Schmidt has been a steady force, averaging 11 points, five rebounds and close to three assists per game.
Schmidt's diamond skills have earned her a scholarship to play softball at Eastern Michigan University. A smooth-fielding, hard-hitting third baseman, she has helped vault Salem's program to elite status the past couple of years.
Schmidt took a few moments following a recent practice to talk to Patch.com contributor Ed Wright about her athletic career.
WRIGHT: When did you start playing basketball?
SCHMIDT: I started playing in the third grade for the PCJBA.
WRIGHT: What is it about the sport that appeals to you?
SCHMIDT: Everything. The best thing about it is all the nice people I've met playing basketball.
WRIGHT: Who has taught you the most about basketball?
SCHMIDT: My dad (Rick Schmidt). He taught me how to shoot, how to follow through on my shot and how to set my feet.
WRIGHT: What's the best part of your game?
SCHMIDT: I'd say my shooting.
WRIGHT: What do you like about this year's team?
SCHMIDT: We're very aggressive defensively and we play with a lot of heart.
WRIGHT: How do you like being the only senior on the team?
SCHMIDT: I feel like I need to be a leader for the younger girls.
WRIGHT: Do you feel like you have to speak up a lot?
SCHMIDT: No. We have a lot of vocal players on the team (smile).
WRIGHT: What's the most important thing you've learned from coach (Fred) Thomann?
SCHMIDT: Don't be afraid to shoot.
WRIGHT: Did you set any goals heading into the season?
SCHMIDT: Not really. Just win.
WRIGHT: You have a younger sister who's an athlete. Do you like being a mentor to her?
SCHMIDT: Yeah, it's fun to have someone who is kind of looking up to me, coming to my games and watching me play. Although she doesn't like taking a lot of advice from me (smile). She's very competitive, just like me.