Langdon Area High School student Jordyn Worley had the experience of a lifetime over the last week of June as she traveled with a group of basketball players and their families to Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii for the annual “Flying Hawaiian” Summer Invitational Basketball Tournament.
Posted on 7/16/16
By Melissa Anderson
The “Frozen Chosen” comprised of exceptional high school female athletes from North Dakota, Minnesota and in years prior, South Dakota, won three of four games including a critical tie breaking 36-34 victory over the Oahu Extreme All Star squad that gave them the best overall record within the tournament.
The team comprised of seven girls, traveled with their families and Coach Mark Wisnewski. The squad consisted of Celsey Knudsen of Richland High School, Ally Christensen of Breckenridge, Minn., Zoie Breckheimer of Hope-Page-Finley-Sharon High School, Emily Card of Fargo Oak Grove, Jordyn Worley of Langdon, and Nicole Herbranson and Peyton Boom, both from Barnesville, Minn.
The athletes were handpicked and invited by Wisnewski who has watched a lot of girls basketball in the tri-state area over the past 15 to 20 years. While athletic ability plays a part in the likelihood of a player receiving an invite to play for Wisnewski there is a lot more than just basketball prowess considered.
“We look for good basketball players that are even better people,” Wisnewski said.
In their first game, the “Frozen Chosen” defeated Campbell High school of Oahu 55-23 as all seven Frozen Chosen players got into the scoring column as Boom led the way with 12 points while Worley and Knudsen were right behind with nine points. Herbranson added seven points, Breckheimer and Card four points each, and Christensen put in three points.
In their second game, they played against a very talented Kalakaua squad that had two Division 1 recruits on its team that jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead on the Frozen Chosen, but after that the contest was played evenly throughout with Kalakaua hanging on for 40-32 victory.
After day one, the Frozen Chosen knew they had to win their final two games the next day, and they did just that as they played their best game of the tournament in game three in defeating the tournament favorite Extreme squad from Oahu in a hard fought and very competitive two point decision. Again, balanced scoring and tremendous team defense were the key ingredients in the Frozen Chosen success.
Worley, gutting it out with an injured nose led the way with 12 points and nine rebounds while Boom had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Herbranson and Ally Christensen pitched in with six points.
“Jordyn Worley was simply dynamic. She gave us the fine inside-out play that our team needed to stretch the opponents defense as well as taking it to the basket along with drawing fouls and scoring off the drive,” Wisnewski said.
“Also her rebounding was a huge factor in our success, and her overall toughness just willed our team to victory. When the girls saw Jordyn play with the nose injury she sustained, and get right back after it with a lot of grit, we got to another level at the most important time of the game, and Jordyn’s will uplifted everybody.”
The Frozen Chosen momentum carried into their fourth and final games well as they jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead and never let up in defeating another crew from North Dakota 46-23 which enabled them to finish with a 3-1 record overall and taking home the title with the big victory over the Extremes as well as giving up the least amount of points in the tournament.
In the 23 point victory, Card and Breckheimer, along with Christensen spearheaded the defense with outstanding play on the perimeter to lead the Frozen Chosen.
Another aspect of the trip was the cultural value. The players and their families had a wonderful time on Waikiki, where they also experienced Pearl Harbor along with the very important history associated with that.
The group toured the island, went snorkeling at Hauanama Bay, parasailed, attended a luao, climbed Diamond Headcrater, experienced the Pali lookout, catamaran rides, and even surfing for several of the members.
“All those events are memory creating, that is for sure but we really will remember most about this group was how selflessly they played as a team,” Wisnewski said, “they left their ego’s on the mainland, and collectively just simply would not be denied a title.”
Wisnewski commented that at times, the athletes looked as if they have been playing together for years, and defensively were so much fun to watch.
“Their families, respective communities, and school districts are doing an outstanding job of developing fine young ladies that are not only good basketball players but more important even better people,” Wisnewski stated.
The group meshed both as a team and travel group, and that is something that goes a long way in having both success and creating lifelong memories and friendships.
“The Hawaiian tournament committee was so impressed in not only how they played the game, but of how they presented themselves with class and always exhibiting the highest caliber of sportsmanship,” Wisnewski said, “Needless to say they represented our part of the country in fine fashion”
Basketball is a great way to help people from across the country and around the globe connect. It doesn’t matter where players are throughout the globe, a basketball, a court, and a hoop can connect different cultures and worlds in a way not many things can.