SE: Part 2: Ohlde, Wecker Reflect on K-State Careers

K-State Athletics will honor a group of 10 outstanding individuals next weekend with their induction into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame. This group marks the 11th class in the history of the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame and will be honored with an induction ceremony on Friday, Jan. 29, before being recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Ole Miss at 1 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum the following day. Stay tuned to the K-State Sports Extra throughout the next few weeks for more information about each of this year’s K-State Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees. 

The following story is the second of a two-part feature on K-State Athletics Hall of Fame inductees, Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker. To read Part 1, please click here

While the two may have been side by side in leading K-State women’s basketball to numerous victories during their collegiate years, Nicole Ohlde (2000-04) and Kendra Wecker (2001-05) didn’t always wear the same jersey. Prior to their time at K-State, Ohlde and Wecker were high school rivals. Ohlde played at Clay Center while Wecker played at Marysville. Growing up, they were always each other’s biggest competition. 

“She was a year younger than me, but growing up, we first played softball against each other. Marysville was always very good,” said Ohlde. “We were in the same league, so we always competed against each other – volleyball, basketball, track, everything. When we’d have high school games against each other, the gym was always packed because we were often both ranked. We didn’t necessarily love each other until we got to K-State,” Ohlde laughed.

Today, they are both members of their respective high school Halls of Fame, members of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and still hold records from their years in the gym, on the softball field and the track. 

While the two were both stars on the basketball court throughout their high school careers, they shined in every sport they played. In track and field, Ohlde was the 2000 4A state champion in the high jump, while Wecker set the national high school record in the javelin throw and was a three-time state champion in the event. 

The two were simply talented athletes driven to excel in every competition. 

“It was fun to be able to play together at K-State after being huge rivals in high school,” added Wecker. “It was so special for me to play with her (at K-State) because she is just a fantastic player and was for a very, very long time, collegiately and professionally.” 

With their long histories together, while Ohlde and Wecker are both honored to be members of this year’s Hall of Fame class, they both stated they couldn’t have done it without the people who surrounded them during their collegiate careers. 

“I think it speaks for the whole team, not for only us two individually,” said Wecker. “Neither one of us – and I know Ohlde would say the same – would have had the success that we did if it wasn’t for the people we played with and our coaches. I mean, we had really, really great teams. We loved playing together, our teammates were great and, ultimately, basketball isn’t a one-player sport, so we’re giving tons and tons of credit to everyone we were able to play with.”

Together, Ohlde and Wecker strung together a few of the greatest years in Wildcat women’s basketball history. They were household names in the state of Kansas. They packed Bramlage Coliseum whenever they would play. 

Of course, they couldn’t have done it without their teammates and coaches, but their teammates and coaches certainly couldn’t have done it without them. 

And they couldn’t have done it without each other. 

“I’m glad (K-State Athletics) did it this way,” said Ohlde about being in the same Hall of Fame induction class as Wecker. “She made me such a better basketball player. She could do so many things, she helped me, pushed me and it made me a better competitor to be around her every day in practice. It’s unique that we’re going in at the same time and it makes it really, really special. I’m so glad and I can’t wait to share that moment with her.” 

Along with the Hall of Fame ceremonies next weekend, the weekend also marks the K-State Women’s Basketball Reunion Weekend where players from throughout the years are invited back to K-State and are recognized at a women’s basketball game. 

K-State women’s basketball will honor Ohlde and Wecker at its matchup against Texas at 7 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 30. 

“It’s an exciting time for me and to get to share this with my family and my teammates,” said Wecker. “It’s not an accomplishment that was done alone; there were a lot of other people involved. Basketball is such a team sport, but it’s not only the team and coaches, it’s the fans and this university as a whole. Those four years of my life were the best four years I’ve ever had; it was a great time.”

 

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