Lauren Shymkewicz recently etched her name into the Ralston girls basketball record book.
Shymkewicz, a 6-2 sophomore, broke the Ram record for most rebounds in a game with 19 in a 56-44 win over Mercy Jan. 27.
“When I found out I had broken the record, I was really surprised. All of my hard work had paid off,” Shymkewicz said.
Shymkewicz also said that in addition to hard work and practicing a lot, there were other factors that went into being able to break the record.
“Having the mindset that every ball that came off was mine,” Shymkewicz said.
She’s averaging a double-double for the season with 12.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. She also is blocking more than three shots per night on average.
Ram coach Nellie Buchta sees the impact Shymkewicz makes on the game, both on the stat sheet and with her court presence.
“When Lauren plays well, the rest of the team feeds off of her energy and plays well,” Buchta said. “Not only have her skills improved but so has her work ethic. Lauren gives out max effort in practice and games. She has brought a whole different energy to the team.”
Buchta also praises the progress Shymkewicz has made following a freshman campaign cut short by an injury.
“She didn’t really know how to use her size or body up other girls very well,” Buchta said. “She has become a lot more physical down low and often demands the ball.
Setting the record for most rebounds in a game is a nice token to take away from any season. However, this is only the start of the records that Shymkewicz hopes to break.
Shymkewicz said she also hopes to break the record for most blocks either in a game or in a season and she has a long term goal of breaking the record for most career rebounds.
Being a sophomore, Shymkewicz said she has no idea where she wants to go to college. One thing that Shymkewicz does know is that she wants to be able to play either softball or basketball.
And although she has plenty of time to decide what she wants to major in in college, Shymkewicz says that she already knows she wants to be a physical therapist.
“Sports have been a big part of my life. It’s an occupation that could keep me around them,” Shymkewicz said.
Buchta believes Shymkewicz possesses the ability to become a major force by the time she’s ready for college.
“Lauren hasn’t reached her full potential as a basketball player,” Buchta said. “She is already a great post player, but look for her to continue to improve and surprise people over the next two years.”