Centerville junior Haley Meyer is a Class B sleeper, coming off a magnificent sophomore season. This summer she is playing on Thien Ho’s East River, 16-U Sacred Hoops squad.
By Rich Winter
Each time Thien Ho’s East River 16-U squad goes into tournament play, Ho knows that Centerville’s Haley Meyer will be ready. Prior to a 10:00 a.m. start of a tournament game at the Sacred Hoops Summer Jam, Meyer had been at her home gym since 7:00 a.m. getting up shots.
Ho called Meyer a tireless worker who pays attention to lifting weights, getting up shots (sometimes in the thousands) and somebody who always comes to practice with the intention of getting better by working hard.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of Meyer…Sometimes it is hard to get noticed when you are on a 5-15 squad that in reality played varsity basketball for the first time two seasons ago (Won 1 game in 2017/2018), after numbers had dropped so low the girls only played a JV schedule. Meyer went out for football and was the starting safety on the BOYZ’ football team.
If the rest of South Dakota hasn’t heard about Meyer, Region 5B knows all about the 5-foot-8 junior that averaged 17.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.5 apg and 2.5 steals per game.
The Tornadoes won just five games under Tucker Tornberg last season, but if you look at their roster there were no juniors and seniors…Three sophomores, three freshman, three (8th) graders and two 7th graders.
Look for double digit wins this year!
Haley Meyer isn’t just concerned with her legacy or her current team, she’s all about the program. She often attends third grade basketball games and two hours after prom, she hopped on a bus to go to a Jr. High tournament.
“Her commitment and her dedication to the program are just unmatched,” Tucker Tornberg, Centerville coach told the Yankton Press & Dakotan last February.
You see, Centerville is in the second season back as a varsity basketball program. It played only a junior varsity schedule during the 2016-17 season due to low numbers. It’s with an eye on the big picture and on the future that drives Meyer to support the younger players, she said.
“I just want to make sure the program keeps going,” Meyer said. “Plus, they’re really nice kids.
“And if I want them to come support us, I better go support them, too.”
Meyer has a sheet of paper where she tracks the shots she takes in practice; either three-pointers, mid-range jumpers, free throws, etc., and at certain spots on the court.
Here’s an example.
Last February on a Saturday, Meyer took between 1,800-2,000 shots before the game even started, according to Tornberg. She was in the gym from 8-11:30 a.m., went home for lunch and then came back to the gym from 1-3 p.m.
And then recorded a 43-point, 16-rebound performance.
“The commitment to little details and fixing things and just improving her game day by day is unmatched,” Tornberg said. “In terms of athletes I’ve coached, it’s the best I’ve ever seen.”