UNION MILLS | It has been nearly three decades since Todd Rosenbaum finished his high school basketball career.
In three varsity seasons, the 1984 LaCrosse graduate scored 942 career points — a lofty mark that was recently surpassed by his daughter. With 30 points in a 72-20 win over Porter County Conference foe Westville, South Central senior Jill Rosenbaum has scored 945 career points, and counting.
“I honestly never thought it would be like this. I never thought I would get that far,” Jill said. “I’m really surprised, honestly, but I’m really happy. I just didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I think it’s pretty cool, especially how close I am to 1,000 right now. I’m really hoping to hit that mark.”
The daughter may have surprised herself, but the father was much more confident. His sights have been set high for Jill from the get-go, believing she can become just the third player in school history to reach the 1,000 career points plateau.
“That’s been the goal: to reach 1,000 points,” Todd said. “I was just a little bit short of that mark, but she just passed me in her past game. A couple more games and she can reach 1,000 points.”
Todd admitted that it was hard at first to watch his daughter, a four-year varsity starter for the Satellites, play for his former rival. But the LaCrosse graduate is happy with the success his daughter has had under former rec league cohort Rick Budka, who is in his sixth year at the helm of the South Central girls program.
Jill's chances for 1,000 career points could be reached this week as the Satellites hope to win the school’s first-ever conference tournament title.
South Central enters PCC tournament play with a 7-6 record overall, 4-0 in the conference. Scoring records are great, but a tournament trophy would be the most important milestone to Jill.
“I’ve been waiting for this forever,” Rosenbaum said. “For some reason, we really get stuck in tournaments. I feel like that with the team I have right now, we’ve never gotten past the first round of anything. I’m really excited to finally win something; I really believe that we can do it this year.”
For Budka, seeing Rosenbaum win a PCC tournament title would be the icing on the cake of what has been a stellar four-year career.
“She’s that type of individual that she’s all about the team, all about winning,” Budka said. “She wants to make sure that she can finish off with a PCC title. This is something that she wants; this is something that all the seniors want. They want to make sure they leave a lasting impression.”
Rosenbaum can’t look to the future without reminiscing on the past.
“My dad has literally taught me, like, every single thing I know,” Jill Rosenbaum said. “He’s been my main coach, my mentor, since I was three. Even after my middle school games, I would ask him if he could practice with me.
“He’s been really supportive and great through everything. He’s definitely the reason that I play the way I do. He’s definitely been my main supporter, for sure.”
For what it’s worth, the Rosenbaum tradition will continue even after Jill’s career comes to a close at the end of the season. Her brother, Johnny, is a sophomore who has cracked the starting lineup on the South Central boys squad. But Jill’s legacy is sure to leave an impact on the girls program.
“I think her lasting legacy will be that when she goes out to play a game of basketball, she’s got her heart and soul in the game of basketball,” Budka said. “She really wears it on her sleeve. When the team’s doing well, she’s the biggest cheerleader. When the team’s not doing so well, she’s still cheering teammates on to make sure they are doing things the right way.
“I think that’s really resonated with some of our younger players. You see a lot of those traits that are being instilled in our younger players because of Jill’s dedication and because of Jill’s desire to win every basketball game.”