Loeding grateful for time at MCC, Hall of Fame induction
At first, Michelle Loeding said, she was not excited to attend McHenry County College (MCC).
The Harvard High School alumna had dreams of getting a basketball scholarship at an NCAA Division I school, she told the McHenry Times in an email interview. While she did not know if that was going to happen, a scholarship offer to play softball at MCC came along, and she took it.
But, Loeding said, it is amazing how life presents opportunities as a person grows up.
“It was a great opportunity and I had a lot of supportive people,” she said. “A lot of kids may not want to stay around, think they might miss out on something. In reality, (MCC) was a great stepping stone for me and opened up a lot of doors and opportunities for me.”
Her MCC journey — which encompassed the 1986-87 and 1987-88 academic years and included stardom on the basketball floor for the Scots — achieved another big milestone when she was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony for Loeding and four other inductees was held Jan. 17 at the school.
“Very grateful,” Loeding said about her induction. “Also thankful for coaches, teammates, administrators, since I would not be in this position without others who nominate, rebound, scrap on the floor and pass me the ball. I have a very supportive village to make this journey possible.”
Loeding ended up playing softball and basketball at MCC. She said she broke her leg during her senior season of high school softball, and was rehabbing her leg in the fall of 1986 to get ready for basketball for the Scots that winter.
“It definitely was hectic at time,” she said of playing multiple sports in college. “But the structure of practice and games forced me to manage my time in order to be successful.”
According to information from MCC, Loeding was a two-time All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference pick in basketball; she was named to the All-Region IV Tournament team, as well.
Last year, she was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV Hall of Fame, according to the region's website, as well as the ISCC Athletic Hall of Fame per IllinoisSkyway.org.
Her accomplishments — which included graduating with honors, according to information from MCC — led to her giving the school's commencement address in 1988.
After her MCC days were over, Loeding went on to Illinois-Chicago, where she played for the basketball team. According to the women's basketball online media guide, she led the team in rebounds in the 1989-90 season with 5.4 per game.
When she thinks about what sports have meant to her, she said, she remembers the life lessons that are taught.
“It teaches you to be resilient when things don’t always go your way, enjoy every life lesson, be grateful for opportunities given to you and don’t forget the people that help you get where you are today,” she said.
Currently, Loeding teaches at Prairie Ridge High School, according to MCC.