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Now Newspapers girls basketball Player of the Year Kenzie Schmitz of Germantown has arms that span the width of the gym, or so feel the members of the Homestead team who were victimized defensively by the 5-foot-10 Schmitz when she occupied the top of a 1-3-1 zone in a thrilling rally and win in December.

She has a shooting range that starts in Lake Michigan (hence the 38 3-pointers this season). She has leaping ability that closely approximates the top of the gym, or so it feels like to the victims of her school record 187 career blocked shots and above all, Schmitz has a generous heart, because despite her large 20.6 points a game scoring average this season and status as the school's all-time career scoring leader, she is also the school career leader in assists (259).

As a footnote, Schmitz also set a school single-game record of 12 assists in the North Shore Conference title-clinching rout of a solid Cedarburg team near the end of the regular season.

But the most important number is 82-18, the four-year team mark the Warhawks recorded in her time at the school, which includes four straight North Shore Conference titles, two WIAA regional titles and a school-record 23-3 mark this season when they went to the sectional finals.

And here is where the generous part of the Miami of Ohio recruit comes into play once again, because she knows  that for all her WBCA All-State and myriad number of skills status, she and the Warhawks would not have done a fraction of the many great things they did this season without the three talented freshmen that coach Matt Stuve brought up this year.

All she wants for them, is to go out and wreck every record she and her current class of seniors has set.

"That would be absolutely fabulous if they could do that," she said. "If they could keep it going in the direction that it's headed, that would be absolutely amazing."

Because that's just the way she's built. For all her talent, she is also a social creature, built to engage with people, try to help them improve and be their best. It also explains why she's plying her trade one more time for the Warhawks' girls track team, for which she has already won four state meet medals as part of relay teams.

"For all the accomplishments, the biggest thing for me is all the friendships and memories of all the players I've played with and against," she said. "So many people, high school, AAU. They really encouraged and created a sense of family for me."

Especially within the Warhawks, who had representatives from all four classes this season.

"The seniors (her class) were a big part of that," she said. "We knew we would have to create that kind of atmosphere, especially with all the underclassmen on the team. We all worked together to come out with the kind of season we had. We knew what we wanted to do.

"And to make that happen, I definitely had to work more on being a leader, be more vocal. With all the underclassmen, we had to make sure they weren't nervous; make sure they felt like they belonged."

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With Schmitz at the head of it all as a big-picture-oriented, uber-talented leader who could get everyone organized and on the same page and who, above all, was the most dangerous player on the floor almost every time the Warhawks stepped on the court.

"We figured that out right away," said Homestead's Chloe Marotta, co-North Shore Conference Player of the Year and like Schmitz, a WBCA Division 1 first-team all-state selection. "She deserves everything she gets. She is just so tough to play against."

Schmitz and Marotta had a dual for the ages on Jan. 31 where in a critical, 69-62 Germantown win, Schmitz had 29 points, 20 rebounds, seven assists and six steals and Marotta 40 points, 22 rebounds and two steals.

In short, the numbers don't lie for Schmitz.

She passed 2015 Now Player of the Year and current Western Illinois University star guard Taylor Higginbotham as the all-time Germantown scoring leader and owns literally every major career school record of consequence.

They include points in a season (535), points in a career (1,403), rebounds in a season (250), rebounds in a career (791), assists in a season (103), assists in a career (259), blocked shots in a career (187), field goals made in a career (461), free throws made in a game (13, tie); free throws in a season (157), free throws in a career (387), games played in a career (100; yes, she never missed a game) and of course, that all-important 82 wins, the only mark that really matters to her.

"I didn't work for all those records, that wasn't my goal," she said. "They're tremendous to accomplish, but that's not what I was after."

She had a big cheering section in Higginbotham, who helped Westerrn Illinois to a conference title and an NCAA tournament berth and who has much of the same team-first attitude.

"When I was a freshman and sophomore, she really showed me how to win and how much fun that can be," said Schmitz.

Stuve, who worked with both Higginbotham and Schmitz, realizes how rare it is to have such talent. He said Schmitz has come a long way from her freshman year, where she used to hit the bottom of the rim on layups.

"From freshman year until now, she really worked her tail off," said Stuve. "She really put her time in in the gym. She's a kid who's in the gym 12 months out of the year."

And he thinks that Miami, which is undergoing a coaching change, is getting a steal in her.

"I believe they're getting a kid who's still on the rise," he said. "I don't think she's hit her ceiling by any means. I think she's going to continue to add layers to her game."

Schmitz likes that thought.

"I have lots of things I can still improve on," she said.

In the meantime, she'll continue to add layers to her overall athletic resume with the track team and, more importantly, to the relationships she's created along the way.

"Spending every day in practice with everyone in a different sport is a lot of fun," she said.

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