Don't be mistaken, former Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter was all about building the program and about winning games, and obviously he did both extremely well in winning three WIAA state titles during his tenure with the Warhawks.
To help keep everything going on a successful path, the "Germantown Hoops, Inc." boys basketball booster club came into being more than a decade ago. The group also had an educational component that Showalter backed strongly.
To that end, Showalter turned to experienced, trusted parents and program backers Mark Minsky, Bruce Studer and Rob Averkamp to implement a plan where college scholarships could be provided to players.
That plan succeeded, said Minsky, as in the last six years, $8,000 in scholarships have been given out, averaging about $300 per senior.
But now Germantown Hoops has decided it wants to take the scholarship program to the championship level.
Earlier this month, Minsky and the group presented Glenn Schroeder, President of the Germantown Community Scholarship Fund (GCSF), a $25,000 check to initiate a formal, long-term boys basketball scholarship program. Furthermore, the organization will keep the endeavor going with a yearly additional gift of $2,000.
"We're very excited about this," said Minsky, "and we've been working on this a long time. We've always wanted to do something with scholarships. It's exciting for the program because it's very cool to give back to the kids."
Minsky added that this will be no simple "jock" scholarship; seniors who get it will have earned it.
Player qualifications for the $1,650 award include having been part of the boys basketball program for at least their junior and senior years in high school, a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average, no athletic code violations, and no full-ride athletic scholarship in any sport.
If it sounds strict, it is, said Minsky, but he said there will be award winners, because as noted, in the 15-year tenure of Showalter, academics have not gone by the wayside. Minsky estimated that at least three players on the team in each of the last six years have earned a 3.5 GPA.
Those last six years include all three state championship squads (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14).
Minsky said the fundraising has included a youth basketball tournament, some key corporate sponsors, the Kohl's Cares program, as well as some good old-fashioned arm-twisting.
The application process will begin soon and the scholarships will be awarded on the school's Senior Scholarship Awards Night on May 24.
Showalter, now the coach at Menomonee Falls, couldn't be happier about the news.
"This has always been the goal," he said. "We wanted to establish something for guys who really need it and who have really earned it. It gives them something to aim for. The organization (Germantown Hoops), has been so helpful. At the beginning we needed so many things: equipment, uniforms. They've really invested in the success of our program.
"I asked a few trusted dads to get something done and they got it done."
PROVIDING A BOOST
Former Germantown girls and boys basketball coach and current Germantown Hoops executive board member Dennis Kloth is understandably proud of what his organization is doing with the scholarships. It has a long history of similar actions, he said.
"Germantown Hoops has raised many thousands of dollars over the past 10-plus years to support our high school and youth boys basketball programs," said Kloth. "We have paid completely for new scoreboards in the gym and new varsity uniforms and video equipment, and partially funded the new gym floor, bleachers, lockers, water drinking stations, and championship banners in the gym, etc."