WHS basketball supports fellow athlete

Samantha Welch, Advertising Editor

It’s your junior year in high school, which is usually the most difficult. You’re 17. You’re an athlete. You love Netflix and chocolate milk. You’re trying to balance all of kinds of activities and you get diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. What happens now?

Stephanie Lindemann, a 17­-year-­old junior who attends Borgia High School, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma on Nov. 5. Before her diagnosis, she was an active participant in playing softball, basketball and running track.

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer that affects about 1,000 people nationwide each year, usually adolescents.

Lindemann is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments, which will continue for approximately the next eight months.

After getting the news, Bill Juengel, basketball coach at WHS and Lindemann’s uncle, felt like he needed to “do something to try to make something good out of a not so good situation.

“Coaching the freshmen boys basketball team, I found that I was regularly around all of Washington High School’s basketball teams, boys and girls,” Juengel said. “I talked to all of them [the players] and asked if they would be interested in helping out.”

Juengel came up with a basketball­ related way to give support to Lindemann.

“I gave each of them [the players] a pledge sheet where they would get commitments from friends, family, etc. for each free throw that they made out of 100 attempts,” Juengel said. “They were very receptive to the idea and we are presently in the process of collecting pledges with proceeds going to #teamsteph to help with expenses along the way.”

Juengel is seeing this as an opportunity to get young people to help their peers.

“I just look at this as being a number of young people helping out another young person during a tough time,” Juengel said.

Freshman Alec Brinkmann saw this event in two ways.

“We were helping a girl that had cancer and we were also helping ourselves get better at shooting,” Brinkmann said.

Brinkmann made over half of his free throws.

“I made 88, so however many people I got to donate, would donate 88 dollars,” Brinkmann said.

The free throw fundraiser ran until the week of Jan. 22. At which time they will total how much money was pledged.

“There was never a goal set,” Juengel said. “I talked to all of the boys and girls teams and said if they would like to help out, here is what we could do.”

With the support of her fellow teammates and WHS, Lindemann has remained positive despite the situation.

“Steph has always been a kid that has had a very positive outlook on things, even through this,” Juengel said. “She has had a smile on her face every time I have been around her since this has happened.”