Although her playing days at Illinois Valley Central have come to an end, senior Laci Peterson received one more honor when she was named second team-All state.


Although her playing days at Illinois Valley Central have come to an end, senior Laci Peterson received one more honor when she was named second team-All state.

“It was a big surprise to me,” Peterson said. “Last year, I didn’t even know what All-state was when I got honorable mention, but I set it as a goal to finish first or second team this year.”

Peterson may have ended her high school career with an All-state honor, but her love of basketball started years earlier at Pearce Community Center.

“When I was little, I started playing basketball at Pearce and discovered that I really love it,”
Peterson said. “My freshman year, I wasn’t into basketball as much, but I got really into it and worked really hard at it.”

That hard work was helped along with the patience and leadership of varsity girls’ basketball coach Paul Mercer.

“Coach Mercer was really great at helping me improve and develop as a player,” Peterson said.
“Coach really helped me to improve my outside shot over this past summer, so now I’m not afraid to take those.”

It is that hard work and skilled guidance that has helped Peterson develop into one of the top players in the state over her time at IVC.

“I feel like I’ve become a stronger post player over my years here,” Peterson said.

Not only did her on-court skills develop at IVC, but her leadership skills as well.

“She’s very social-minded about what’s going on and doesn’t like a lot of conflict, so she tries to keep those kind of things resolved,” Mercer said.

Although the basketball part of her career at IVC is over, Peterson will always have the fond memories of the time she spent there.

“It’s been a great opportunity to play basketball at IVC and to make a lot of friends through the program,” Peterson said.

To have all the success she did at IVC, Peterson could not do it alone and credits the talent and closeness of the team members.

“They have been awesome,” Peterson said. “They’re like a big family. It’s great to see them at school and practice and games. You never dread going to basketball because your friends are there.”

Peterson will next look to succeed when she takes her game to the college level.

“I’m going to play at ICC (Illinois Central College) for two years and then, hopefully, transfer to a Division I or II school,” Peterson said.

Whatever the future brings for Peterson, she still has advice for young players entering the IVC basketball program, much like she was four years ago.

“You have to never give up and always listen to your coaches because they know what’s best,” Peterson said.