Ella Hronski’s family tree is filled with college athletes, and the Mahtomedi senior-to-be will add her name to that group next year.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations and heard many stories from all of them, and what it was like to be a student athlete in college,” said Hronski, who will follow both parents, three uncles, an aunt and a cousin into college athletics.
The 5-foot-9 sharpshooter recently verbally committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a strong Division II program. The Bulldogs were 26-6 last year.
“I really like the campus, the city and the lake,” Hronski said. “UMD has a very successful program and has great coaches and nice facilities. UMD just really stood out to me during the recruiting process,”
Hronski averaged 10 points on a balanced, 20-8 Mahtomedi team as a junior. She has made 58 three-point shots.
Her father, Mark, played basketball at Bemidji State (where he held the single-game record of 42 points for a time) and Winona State. Her mother, Lisa Blaisdell, played basketball and volleyball at St. Mary’s in Winona. Both went to Mounds View High School, where Mark scored 1,069 points.
Her cousin Ali Greene starred for Mahtomedi, notching 1,678 points and 860 rebounds, and played Division I basketball at Creighton.
“I grew up watching and looking up to Ali and she was like a big sister to me,” Hronski said. “She was a great role model, and I was lucky that I had someone like her.”
Her aunt Vickie Greene is a Hall of Famer at St. Mary’s for basketball and volleyball. Her uncle Dan Greene played basketball there, uncle Willie Wilson played football at Winona State, and uncle Brian Hronski was an all-conference baseball player at Winona State.
“They all had great things to say about the memories playing in college and great friends they made with their teammates,” Hronski said. “They also said how much playing sports in college had helped them be prepared for life after college.”
Mark Hronski mused, “When we were playing, we never really thought about that, but when you look back, it’s quite a list.”
Mahtomedi coach Erica Zizzo assessed Hronski’s talents:
“Ella is a fantastic, long-range three-point shooter. Her range is very impressive. Along with her sharp shooting, Ella is also a fantastic defender who is often tasked to guard one of the opposing team’s best players. She is a student of the game who loves to learn and improve.”