Kasel: From Miner to Maverick
November 12, 2010
Park City High School senior Laurel Kasel is taking her talents to Grand Junction, Colo.
The fourth-leading scorer in the entire state in 2009 signed an official letter of intent to play at Mesa State College Wednesday afternoon at the high school.
A natural two-guard, the 17-year-old Kasel will become a Maverick following her upcoming senior season with the Miners.
After averaging nearly 21 points per game last season, Kasel will be asked to lead a Park City team that is coming off a 3-19 season.
Her father, Tracy, who is a first-year assistant coach on the team, sees his daughter as a leader first and a scorer second.
"She’s not only a good hoop player, she’s a good leader," he said. "You can ask the other girls around on that."
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This season, Kasel’s scorning ability will be a crutch the team will need to lean on, but don’t expect the star shooting guard to look too far down the road toward Grand Junction.
"I have to keep my skills up in order to play," she said. "It’ll be good in order to lead the team (this year)."
Kasel moved to Park City from New Jersey between her freshman and sophomore years, in is just her third year at PCHS, is quickly approaching the school’s all-time scoring leader. Kasel set the single-season scoring mark for Miners girls’ basketball last year with 461 points in 22 games.
But her father never really pushed her to be a star basketball player; he just wanted her to do what she found interest in.
"I didn’t care what she did," he said. "I still don’t. I told her to just ‘do whatever you want to do, and do it.’ I didn’t even care if it was sports. ‘Just do what you want to do’."
While the team has struggled mightily over the last few seasons, Kasel has garnered experience and skills at PCHS to get her to play basketball at the next level.
"I learned a lot about team here," she said. "That’s huge for me. I’m going to bring that with me to Mesa."
As for coaching his daughter for the first time this season, the elder Kasel knows the separation of father and coach is a necessary one when it comes to the betterment of the team.
"I have learned that isn’t (very hard)," he said. "It’s very clear. Here’s my coach hat, and here’s my dad hat. I give you a hug, I love you; I put my coach hat on, I’ll bench you, I’ll do whatever. It’s a whole different deal. I think it’s appropriate."
The Miners hope that Kasel can set an example for other girls who want to continue playing basketball after their high school days.
"We expect to do this, which is a major accomplishment, every year," Tracy Kasel said. "We want a player going to the next level every year."
Kasel was on the second-place Miners girls’ soccer team this season, but her sport has always been basketball and the statistics and full college scholarship do not dispute that.
"Soccer was fun. Something to do on the side to stay in shape, but I’m a basketball player," she said.