By Dan Truttschel~Sports Correspondent
There were many goals for the inaugural “Mark Your Moment” all-star basketball game last week at Indian Trails Academy.
Event organizers hoped to showcase high school players for college coaches, wanted to raise some money for a good cause and put on a high-quality competition.
By all accounts, the mission was accomplished to its fullest – and former Wilmot standout Mike Stevenson was right in the middle of the action.
Stevenson led all scorers with 25 points to lead the Kenosha squad, but it wasn’t quite enough, as Racine posted a 91-82 victory. Kenosha cut its deficit to just seven points in the second half, but couldn’t get any closer.
Even in defeat, there were really no losers at all, Wilmot coach Jake Erbentraut, who attended the game, said.
“I’m very happy for Mike,” Erbentraut said. “He’s first and foremost, an outstanding individual both on and off the court, (and) he’s worked really hard to get where he’s at and to have the type of success he earned.
“It’s great to see others recognize his capabilities and reward him for his efforts.”
Erbentraut said he wasn’t surprised by Stevenson’s effort, which mirrored what he normally did as a member of the Panthers the past four seasons.
His game remains consistent, Erbentraut said.
“He let the game come to him,” he said. “He didn’t force shots and just played how he normally plays. He played really well.”
Wilmot took several positive forward steps under Erbentraut last season, but it was players like Stevenson who helped put the Panthers on the map, he said.
And when a player gets selected for an all-star game, the exposure is magnified even more.
“He was joking with some of the other players on the team that they didn’t even know where Wilmot was,” Erbentraut said.
“He had to remind them that there are other places in Kenosha County besides Kenosha, but it became evident early that he was an impact player in the game and in our program. Those at the event were able to see why Wilmot had such a successful season.”
As of last week, Stevenson had yet to select a college, but wherever he ends up, that school will be getting a complete person both on and off the court.
And they also will get someone who will clearly put the team ahead of anything else, Erbentraut said.
“His career shows that he steadily improved and contributed, and by his senior year, he was able to showcase his abilities,” he said. “In addition to that, he’s a smart individual on the court, in the classroom and is a leader.
“I can’t tell you how many times I looked to him to be the leader, and he did it in flying colors. He’s a rare one to get, and I think wherever he goes, he’s going to be able to adapt to the level of play because he has the talent and ability to get the job done.”
Stevenson was out of town after last Sunday’s contest and unavailable for comment.
In addition to the event showcasing area talent, a portion of the proceeds went to the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Wisconsin.