TOLONO (WCIA) — After a standout freshman season, the summer grind hasn’t stopped for Millikin guard Elyce Knudsen. The Unity graduate led the Big Blue to their first conference title since 2005, but Knudsen still isn’t satisfied. She’s in the gym almost everyday, putting up 500 shots before 9 a.m.
“There’s just something about me. That I’m always wanting more,” says Knudsen. “I want to compete at a high level, against some of the top players, and to do that I have to be working hard, and getting shots up, and making shots, and getting the most out of my time in the gym.”
She’s been working out in the same gym where she became the Unity’s Girls’ and Boys’ All-Time leading scorer, breaking the previous mark of 1,812 points set by longtime NBA player Brian Cardinal. That success followed her to the next level, where she was named CCIW Newcomer of the Year, and an All-American honorable mention.
“She loves Unity and her career there and was she was able to do there, but she definitely hasn’t let up any,” says head coach Olivia Lett. “I think she has a chance now to be a four or five time All-American depending if she wants to use that extra year.”
Knudsen led the team last season, averaging 18.5 points per game, while scoring a career-high 31 points in the conference championship in a 72-59 win over Illinois Wesleyan. But her season ended there, with the NCAA electing not to have an national tournament for Division III basketball due to COVID-19.
“Seeing Division-I and Division-II getting to compete at the national level was a bit heartbreaking,” says Knudsen. “But that just puts a fire under me and wants to get me better and myself better for my teammates next season.”
Knudsen was the league’s third leading scorer with 281 points in just 14 games, which also puts her among the Top-15 nationally.