Miss Basketball winner Gondrezick always wanted to be great

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Kysre Gondrezick poses with the Miss Basketball trophy Monday.

Detroit – Former Benton Harbor coach Lou Harvey was sitting in the front row of Muskegon Heights' gym several years ago watching his granddaughter, Kalabrya Gondrezick, play her freshman year for the Tigers.

Gondrezick was consistently scoring 20 or more points while running Benton Harbor’s team as the point guard, already receiving multiple Division 1 offers.

When asked to comment on Kalabrya, Harvey gave high praise, then pointed next to him where Kalabrya’s younger sister, Kysre, was sitting and said, “This one is going to be even better.”

Harvey’s prediction proved correct about his other granddaughter, with Kysre Gondrezick receiving the Michigan Miss Basketball award Monday after setting multiple state records during her senior year at Benton Harbor. She won with 4,887 points in voting by Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) members, with Michigan State-bound Mardrekia Cook of Muskegon second with 2,900 points.

Gondrezick, a 5-foot-10 guard, became the first girls basketball player in state history to average 40 points, coming in at 40.5, including a state-record 72 points in a district-opening game win over Buchanan. She scored 2,827 career points, ranking second.

“It’s really been such a joy for me (playing basketball) and I’m not only accepting this award on my behalf, but for the community of Benton Harbor as well,” Gondrezick said. “I always say basketball doesn’t define who I am, it’s what I do. What defines who I am is the type of person that I am to people and that’s what I’m always going to be remembered for. If I can just be remembered for someone who loved the game, loved her teammates and loved her community, that’s really the legacy that I want to leave behind.”

Gondrezick gave her speech during a Miss Basketball award press conference with her family, friends and coaches looking on, including her mother and coach, Lisa Harvey-Gondrezick.

Gondrezick’s speech lasted nearly 10 minutes and was impressive, encouraging young girls to set lofty goals and then work hard to achieve them. She also thanked her mother, her grandparents, other coaches and role models such as Skylar Diggins, who attended Benton Harbor’s district semifinal win, and friends like the nation’s top boys basketball prospect, Josh Jackson, for helping make her success possible.

Gondrezick talked about that 72-point game Monday.

“It was a great individual accolade,” she said. “But what's most important is that we won that game and had the opportunity to play more games.”

Harvey said his granddaughter “wanted to be good” from an early age.

“She has great work habits,” Harvey said. “She stays in the gym, never complains, just wants to be good. I could see all of this when she was little, 5 or 6 years old.”

Harvey has a long history at Benton Harbor, guiding the girls basketball team to 340 wins and the 2009 state championship with Destiny Williams leading the way. Harvey’s daughter and Kysre’s mother, Lisa, was a Miss Basketball finalist in the 1980s before playing at Louisiana Tech.

Now, Kysre will play at Michigan, going up against Kalabrya, a Miss Basketball finalist last year and a freshman at MSU.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Gondrezick of her upcoming rivalry. “I know I’m not supposed to have any mercy whatsoever. I’m just going to have to look at her like any other opponent and play the game that I love, and then we can probably go out to dinner afterward, depending on if we win.”


1. Kysre Gondrezick, Benton Harbor (Michigan) – 4,887 points

2. Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon (Michigan State) – 2,900

3. Alexis Sevillian, Goodrich (Iowa) – 2,245

4. Cassidy Boensch, Bay City John Glenn (Grand Valley) – 2,139

5. Siyeh Frazier, Detroit Renaissance (Penn State) – 1,392