In Saturday’s game against the Grand Valley Lakers, sophomore center Taylor Hodell clutched the ball at the NMU baseline as multiple Lakers closed in on her trying to take possession. As Hodell pivoted away from the opposition and surveyed the court, she flung an overhead pass to senior guard Bre Gaspervich, who stood wide open outside the 3-point line.
A fraction of a second passed and without hesitation, Gaspervich cocked her arm and sent the ball flying into the hoop.
Despite being fouled on the play, Gaspervich was able to pull off a perfect shot, all net followed by the satisfying swish every player strives for. But she didn’t stop there. The team’s only senior stood at the foul line for her and-one shot and with ease, knocked down the extra point, completed the 4-point play and solidified herself as a member of the program’s 1,000 club.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Gaspervich said. “It tells a lot for everyone [on the team] because they’re the ones that pass me the ball. I think it’s really good for the team, just that we pass the ball that much that we have people scoring that much.”
Head coach Troy Mattson not only praised Gaspervich for her ability on the court but also for her dedication and humble attitude.
“She has never wavered in her emotions as to how to play the game of basketball and how to get ready to play,” Mattson said. “She’s a complete and true competitor on the court.”
Far before her days as a Wildcat, Gaspervich started playing basketball in third grade in her hometown of East Troy, Wisconsin. She attended camps and joined her first team the summer before she entered the sixth grade.
She stuck with basketball and attended East Troy High School, where she lettered three times. She became the school’s all-time leading scorer for girl’s basketball, also exceeding 1,000 points.
Reflecting on his first meetings with the team’s sole senior, Mattson said that because of her short height, not many teams were looking at her after high school. He said the Wildcats were fortunate to have Gaspervich commit to Northern Michigan as she became a huge asset to the team.
“She leads by example more than vocally,” Mattson said. “She is just amazing for what she’s able to do for her size out there on the court. Rebounds, assists, taking charges, steals, it doesn’t matter. She can do it all.”
While she’s still here, Gaspervich said she would like to cap off her career by winning the 2017 GLIAC tournament and move on to the NCAA competition.
But once her time at Northern is through, Gaspervich hopes to pursue her career interests by attending graduate school and earning her Master’s Degree in accounting and eventually achieving her dream of being and FBI forensic accountant, Gaspervich said.
“I’ve made a lot of life-long friends [at NMU]. I’ve had nothing but good experiences here,” Gaspervich said. “I know I’ve learned a lot too, so I can’t wait to take it out into the real world.”
She said that she will be sure to come back to the Berry Events Center as a fan to cheer on the Wildcats as she has high expectations for the teammates she is leaving.
“We have a really strong core group of girls so I would like to see them win the North Division Conference [next year] because I know they can do it,” Gaspervich said.
The Wildcats next travel to Houghton, Mich. for a date with rival Michigan Tech on Feb. 23.