Duckmann reaches 1,000-point plateau on senior night

Gavin Ewen, Editor-in-Chief

When senior basketball player Lili Duckmann was moved up to the varsity team as a freshman, she had a goal in mind.

On a Feb. 2 victory over Wheeling, it was achieved. 

Duckmann scored 21 points in the Elk Grove win, which propeled her over the 1,000 point mark for her career.

Her milestone also came on the team’s senior night.

“It means the world to me to score my 1,000th point because it’s a goal I’ve had since freshman year,” Duckmann said. 

When the ball went through the hoop at that moment, the officials took a timeout, allowing Duckmann’s coaches and teammates to mob her on the court in celebration.

“Seeing everyone get so excited for me was something very special,” Duckmann said. “I’m very grateful for all the support I have here at Elk Grove, and when I hit the 1,000 points that support really showed.”

Duckmann also praised head coach Jennifer Buxton for all the time and effort she has put in the past four years.

Hitting 1,000 points wasn’t always so certain, however. Buxton and Duckmann at one point realized her goal was in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season.

“I didn’t think I was going to end up reaching it,” Duckmann said. 

Despite these doubts, Duckmann said she found all the extra time to be an opportunity to refine skills heading into her final two years on the team.

“Over quarantine I went and played basketball with my AAU team every single day and I worked a lot on my ball handling in my driveway,” Duckmann said. “I think quarantine gave me the opportunity to spend a lot more time focusing on basketball and I really improved a lot.”

Buxton described Duckmann as a “dynamic player” who always fit into team roles, even when she was a freshman on varsity. 

“Lili will be missed not only as a scorer, but as rebounder, ball handler, verbal leader, and, more importantly, as a good person,” Buxton said.

Duckmann’s achievements, including being named to the Mid-Suburban League’s all-conference ranks, have also helped her earn an opportunity at the collegiate level. She will continue her college basketball career at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.