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Marion County College Report

Salem Grad Finishes Air Force Career with Three Records


Salem grad Kim Kreke's father passed away 12 years ago.

And even though Paul Kreke died when the former Salem and Air Force basketball player was only 10 years old, his influence on the 6-foot-3 basketball player was immeasurable.

"My father was a special person and the driving force behind my career," Kreke said. "Even though he was not around very long, he instilled great values and taught me to make the most of my talent. He started me playing and the gymnasium became my second home."

As the Salem grad exits the United States Air Force Academy, she does so with a few school records including the career blocked shot record (95). During her senior season, she also pulled down 278 rebounds, an average of 9.3 rebounds a game. The 278 rebounds is the best performance by any AFA player since 1996, the year that the Lady Falcons starting competing at the NCAA Division I level.

As a senior, Kreke also set the new single-season blocked shot record with 43 and a new single game rebounding record with 19. Her prowess at pulling down rebounds and blocking shots made her a shoe-in for the Air Force Defensive MVP for the 2008-09 season.

"I played well as a senior, but I wanted more for our team," Kreke said. "I blame myself for us not doing better. I will never forget hitting a game winning trey against Brigham Young University during my junior year. It is a great feeling to score in the final seconds of a close game against a quality opponent. There’s nothing quite like it."

Other than her blocked shots and rebounds, the 30-game starter, who averaged 33.8 minutes per game, scored 278 points, an average of 9.3 points per game, 37 steals and 30 assists. She scored her points by hitting 103-of-326 field goals and 50-of-69 free throws. Of her field goals, 22 were treys.

Her senior season allowed her to finish her career with 489 points. The 6-3 center drained 182 field goals and 91 free throws. She struck from beyond the arc 34 times. In addition to her 5.3 points per game, she also had 457 rebounds, an average of 5.0 per game. Kreke's other career numbers included 63 steals and 61 assists.

The daughter of the late Paul and Sue Kreke of Salem earned her degree in social science in May. She will fulfill a five-year commitment to the United States Air Force. During the first year of her commitment, she will be the assistant coach for the women's basketball team at the United States Air Force Academy Prep School. The team consists of 18-19-year olds. After that she will be a program manager for the Air Force.

"I loved basketball so much because it was a direct connection to my father," Kreke said. "My mother was great as well. She was no replacement for my father, but she always knew what to say and when to say it. I already miss playing. Coaching allows me to stay involved in the game."