Kadie Hempfling: Hard work pays off

Kadie Hempfling - Photo via BG Athletics

Kadie Hempfling – Photo via BG Athletics

Jenna Diblasi and Jenna Diblasi

Women’s basketball forward Kadie Hempfling has stats that prove her sports talent.

As the team captain, she has led the women’s basketball team to 12-11 this season, reaching over 1,000 career points to rank No. 28 in BGSU history on the career scoring record.

Born and raised in Glandorf, a village on the edge of Ottawa, Ohio, Hempfling grew up on a dairy farm. By helping her family around the farm at a young age, she developed a work ethic which translated to her sports career.

“I grew up around basketball. My dad coached my sisters and I, so I was always in the gym. I really enjoyed playing, and I fell in love with the game,” she said.

Her family has been the biggest support system throughout her journey thus far.

“My dad is one of the strongest people in my life and my three older sisters have always pushed me to be the best in everything. They helped me have the competitive edge that I have today and I am really thankful for that,” she added. 

Basketball requires hard work, motivation and sacrifice. As an athlete, Hempfling has experienced both successful and rebuilding seasons. Through the good times and bad, she has committed her best efforts toward the early morning practices, hours of watching film and tough losses. 

“When something doesn’t feel right or if I’m feeling down, I always go and shoot. Just having a basketball in my hands clears my head,” she said.  

Being a D1 College athlete is a big commitment with a lot of expectation. 

 “I dreamed of being a college 1 athlete and whenever I have hard days, I think about how happy she would be in my shoes and how happy basketball truly makes me,” she added. 

As of Jan. 29, 2022 Hempfling scored the 1,000th point of her sporting career, becoming one of few players in BGSU history to reach the millennium mark.  Before the game, she was just points away from the 1,000 goal.

“I wanted to almost get it over with. I just wanted to play basketball and not have to think about that, but once it happened I was so happy,” she explained.

Hempfling’s career has come full circle. She expressed her gratitude toward the BGSU community, her family and friends for all the kind words and messages from that day. 

“It all went back to all the hard work that I put in, it paid off and it always will. Because if you work as hard as you can, in the end, basketball will always reward toughness,” she explained. 

The 2021-2022 women’s basketball season continues to be one to remember. With Hempfling’s leadership, she has changed the dynamic of teams in the past. 

“I am thankful for the position I’m in, playing basketball and being at one of the greatest universities in the world,” she added.

Head Coach, Robyn Fralick, pursues her fourth season as head coach of the BGSU women’s basketball team. Hempfling’s first year at BGSU was also Fralick’s first season. In just four years, Fralick has seen her grow immensely as a player.

“I have seen Kadie grow in a lot of ways. Kadie’s skill level and her ability to score in different spots of the court has really developed. She has put a lot of time into getting better everyday,” she said. 

Being the team captain for her second year, Fralick says Hempfling has set an example to her teammates and upcoming Freshman prospects.

“Kadie is a great standard of what it looks like to endure and stick through hardships, which has been able to translate to our team,” she added.

Fifth year student athlete, Madisen Parker, has been a huge part of Hempfling’s experience at BGSU. Parker was a freshman during Hemplfing’s initial visit and since then, they have been inseparable. 

“We have changed our culture to have a lot of chemistry off the court, as opposed to only on the court. I think that has allowed me to build a lot of relationships with all of my teammates but especially Kadie,” she said. 

Parker and Hempfling are the only two players left who experienced challenging seasons, a new coaching staff and change in culture. 

“Kadie and I’s relationship is unique, because we went through some hard times together. Our team was truly rebuilding in the first couple years in order to get our program to where it is today. We spent a lot of time together during those hardships and now we have seen it translate because the hard work has paid off,” she added.

Parker explains how Hempfling is one of the team’s most valuable players. 

“Her energy is unmatched. Other teams have someone that tries to act like Kadie, because her energy impacts the game so much,” she said.

As Hempfling has broken records, hit new milestones and inspired many, she has also demonstrated the reward of discipline. Along with her personal success, Parker says she is someone who always thinks about what’s best for the team. 

“A core value for our program is being a great teammate. Kadie over the course of her four years at BGSU has really shown what is to be a good teammate,” said Parker.