Top state prospects among recruits on hand for Badgers’ dramatic win
Among those on hand to witness Kelly Karlis’ last-second heroics for the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team Sunday was a collection of prime recruiting targets seated behind the Badgers bench.
The group included two in-state 2020 guard prospects, 5-foot-9 Jaddan Simmons of Green Bay Southwest and 5-8 Natalie McNeal of Germantown.
They were joined by a trio of 2021 prospects, 5-10 guard Maty Wilke of Beaver Dam, 5-11 guard Sydney Affolter of Chicago Marist and 6-2 forward Jenna Johnson of Wayzata, Minnesota.
Also in attendance were a couple of future Badgers, 2019 recruits Sydney Hilliard of Monroe and Tara Stauffacher of Beaver Dam.
Simmons, daughter of Green Bay Packers secondary coach Jason Simmons, is averaging 21.8 points this season for Southwest. She was player of the year in the Fox River Classic Conference last season when she averaged 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and shot 44 percent from 3-point range. A member of the Purple Aces AAU program, she has scholarship offers from all four of the state’s Division I programs, along with a list that includes Nebraska, Illinois, Arizona State, Houston, South Dakota, Bradley, Brown, Utah, Tulsa, Penn and Kansas State.
McNeal, who is averaging 19.6 points and 11 rebounds for Germantown, also has drawn interest from the other state and Big Ten programs. She was the Greater Metro Conference player of the year as a sophomore. She also plays for the Wisconsin Lakers AAU team.
Wilke, a frequent visitor to the UW campus, is considered one of the top sophomore prospects in the nation. She is averaging 13 points for the Golden Beavers, who will be going for their third consecutive WIAA Division 2 state title. She received her first scholarship offer from North Dakota while still in seventh grade and that list has grown to about 30, including Marquette, Green Bay and Big Ten rivals Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan and Nebraska.
Affolter, ranked as the No. 2 sophomore prospect in Illinois by Prep Girls Hoops Illinois, is averaging 16.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 3-pointers for Marist. A member of the Illinois Elite AAU program, she has received offers from Marquette, Illinois, DePaul and Butler, among others.
Johnson is averaging 16 points for Wayzata, which is undefeated and ranked No. 2 among Class 4A teams in Minnesota. She plays for the North Tartan AAU program and is the reigning state champion in the 400 meter run.