By Leesa K. Bartu
While Exeter-Milligan senior Kate Jansky is undecided about her major in college, she definitely knows she’s playing basketball and it will be at Doane University. Jansky, a standout on the Timberwolf team, topped the 1,000 point career total earlier this season.
She chose Doane because, “I really liked the campus. I also liked the coaches and the players I talked to while visiting.”
Her E-M coach, Jackson Krejci is confident about Jansky having a solid foundation to build on. “Kate has had a great academic and athletic career at E-M,” he said. “She’s had a great work ethic and has been a great role model to everyone around her.”
Jansky has been very coachable for Krejci and he emphasized her self-motivation as another key to her success in the future. “She was a great teammate and would always be the first to help or encourage,” Krejci said. “She did a great job of improving herself in the off season each summer, whether it was shooting and ball handling or getting stronger in the weight room. I’m excited for her, Doane is getting a great student-athlete.”
Doane head basketball coach Tracee Fairbanks is looking forward to Jansky joining the Doane team.
“Kate’s ability to score the basketball at a consistent rate caught our attention during her junior year and she has carried it well into her senior season,” Fairbanks said. “In addition, Kate is an athlete and has excelled in volleyball and track, too. I am a proponent of well-rounded student-athletes and like the fact that she is involved and successful in other sports.”
Fairbanks (maiden name Uldrich) has a personal connection with Jansky as she grew up in Milligan and went to school with Jansky’s dad, Jeff. Fairbanks, a Doane alum, also met Janksy’s mom, Kendra, when they played basketball together at Doane.
In addition to these family connections, Fairbank’s leads a program that embraces their student athletes.
“We try to provide a ‘family away from home’ type of environment,” Fairbanks said. “Our coaching staff strives to help our student-athletes be successful in the classroom, on the court, and in other aspects of their lives; providing a strong mentoring and support system in all areas.”
Krejci added, “Doane is a great school and the staff has done an excellent job with the girls they have coached. Playing in the GPAC will also be a great fit for Kate as they have some really good teams. That will make it very competitive for her. The location will also be great that way everyone will get a chance to watch her play.”
Jansky is looking forward to being part of that team and feels like her experiences at E-M have prepared her well for this next step. “I think Exeter-Milligan provided me with a great education and great athletic experiences,” she said. “All four years, I have been surrounded by great girls who were selfless teammates. Being a school in the Crossroads Conference also prepared me because of the high level of competition.”
Jansky was recognized last year on the Nebraska Prep Zone All Class D-2 Team, Crossroads Conferences All Area Team and Lincoln Journal Star Class D-2 All-Stater. This season, she has drawn a lot of attention and was named female Athlete of the Week by the York News-Times after dropping in 60 points in her first two games. Career totals for Jansky after the first few games in February show her with 183 assists, 62 blocks, 394 rebounds, 186 steals and 1,055 points as a Timberwolf.
With those impressive numbers, Jansky mentioned her biggest change in transitioning to college will be learning to balance academics and athletics.
Krejci emphasized the challenges. “She will learn to be a time manager as basketball will turn into a job for her because it’s close to a year round if you consider off-season workouts,” he said. “It will be busy but definitely worth it as a student athlete.”