Prep girls basketball: East's 'bigger, stronger, faster' Dyer signs with Badgers

2011-11-10T03:30:00Z 2014-07-30T13:13:12Z Prep girls basketball: East's 'bigger, stronger, faster' Dyer signs with BadgersROB HERNANDEZ | | 608-252-6173 | @RobHernandezWSJ Chippewa Herald

Most high school girls wouldn't share how much they weigh as willingly as Makailah Dyer.

Of course, few worked as hard over the summer as the Madison East senior to add pounds to her 5-foot-9 frame to impress her new college coach and play basketball at the University of Wisconsin. So, her jump from 130 pounds to 150 pounds is something to brag about.

"I've always been the really skinny one, so just putting on some muscle has been good for me and it's really improved my game a lot," Dyer said Wednesday morning after signing her National Letter of Intent to play for the Badgers and new coach Bobbie Kelsey.

"I just had to get much bigger, getting ready for the next level. It's taken a lot of hard work, but I've definitely gotten a lot bigger, stronger and faster."

Dyer, who averaged 19.8 points per game for East last season, was the only one of the four recruits in former Badger coach Lisa Stone's 2012 class to survive the transition to Kelsey.

Two recruits — Nicole Smith of Rockton (Ill.) Hononegah and Whitney Tinjum of Chisago Lakes, Minn. — decommitted soonafter Kelsey was hired. Kelsey pulled Stone's scholarship offer to Eau Claire Regis forward Heather Bowe, leaving Dyer as the only in-state recruit.

"It means a lot to me," Dyer said. "I worked really hard over this past summer. After Coach Kelsey watched me play and (said) she felt I was somebody she wanted to play for her program, it really meant a lot to me. Signing this letter is a big relief for me."

And her parents, Michael and Janet. Her mom, the former Janet Huff, is a 1984 UW graduate who is still the 12th leading scorer in Badgers women's basketball history.

"Makailah committed to Lisa Stone right before her sophomore year and, at the time, Makailah said she wanted to be a Badger and that's always been the case," Janet Dyer said. "When the coaching change took place, she was still very excited about the opportunity to play for Wisconsin. And, I have to tell you, Makailah handled that situation a lot better than I did.

"I was a little bit worried about it. But Makailah's attitude the whole time was 'I want to be a Badger and I'm glad Bobbie Kelsey is giving me the opportunity to show her that I can play at that level.' In the long run, that was the best thing could happen. I'd much rather have her playing there knowing she's the type of player that Bobbie Kelsey wants."

Makailah Dyer worked out all summer at Core Athletic in Middleton under the guidance of personal trainers Chris Rudolph and Kane Sivesind, a former Madison Memorial standout. She also continued to play AAU basketball for Team Wisconsin out of Menomonie on a team coached by University of Dubuque head coach Mark Noll and assistant Andy Crane.

 "It's Big Ten basketball and you have to be stronger, faster, everything," Makailah Dyer said. "I had to get bigger because I knew I'd be playing against bigger, stronger girls. It would have been easy to sit around and not do as much and maybe go to a lower level (Division I) school.

"But I wanted to play at a major school and Wisconsin was my dream, since I was a little kid."



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