Carley Duffney has best week ever

May 31, 2019

Green Bay Preble's Carley Duffney has best week ever
Scott Venci, Green Bay Press-GazettePublished 5:32 p.m. CT May 30, 2019

GREEN BAY - Last week was the best yet in the athletic life of Green Bay Preble sophomore Carley Duffney.

It started Monday with a scholarship offer from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for basketball, her first offer after two standout seasons with the Hornets.

It came after she was one of the biggest stars at the Lake Slam AAU tournament in Bloomington, Minnesota, where she averaged 23 points in four games for the Purple Aces’ 2021 team.

Her week continued Wednesday, when she received her second offer from the University of North Dakota.

She capped it Thursday by earning a second straight trip to the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet, qualifying in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.

It doesn’t get much better than this for the two-sport star.

“It was such an eventful week for me,” Duffney said. “It was so awesome. So many good things going on, obviously with my first offer and having that tournament last weekend. And then regional and sectionals.”

Duffney thinks her state track experience as a freshman will help when the meet starts Friday in La Crosse. Her main goal last year was just to reach the big stage. She didn’t spend time pondering how she was going to do once there, because she didn’t have expectations of anything special.

She did not qualify for finals in either of her events, finishing 16th overall in the 100 hurdles and 21st in the 300 hurdles.

That’s not the mindset now. Getting back is not good enough.

Duffney wants to make the finals in both hurdle events after a solid showing at sectionals. She finished second in the 100 with a time of 15.53 seconds and third in the 300 in 46.47.

“I think I can do really good,” Duffney said. “So, I’m going to work my tail off there.”

Working hard isn’t an issue. She finds time to juggle a hectic schedule that includes school and playing two sports at the same time.

Duffney thinks it would be difficult without good mentors, but “awesome” basketball and track coaches have made it easy for her. Coaches in both sports understand when she must miss a practice for the other.  

Those who know her describe Duffney as even-keeled, never getting too high or too low. It’s about taking care of business at all times.

Despite being a standout in multiple sports, her collegiate future is in basketball.

She might have been the best kept secret of any local player on the recruiting circuit, but that ended with her dominant performance at the Lake Slam while playing against four of the best teams in Minnesota.

“I was kind of wondering when it was going to come,” Duffney said of an offer. “I knew I was only a sophomore, but I felt like I was good. Not to be overconfident or anything. I thought this summer it would come. I’ve been working hard, and I knew somebody would notice.

“I was feeling a little pressure. It did help take it off. … I’m still going to keep working, obviously, to get more.”

The 5-foot-11 Duffney was a first-team all-conference selection in the Fox River Classic this past season, helping the Hornets finish second in league play to Division 1 state champion Bay Port.

Her name was all over the conference leaderboard. She ranked third in scoring (17.6 ppg), first in assists (4.8 apg), fourth in steals (2.3 spg),  second in free throw percentage (80.5%) and fifth in shooting percentage (52%).

Duffney scored 20 or more points 10 times, including 31 against West De Pere in November.

“Carley told us she was going to be a DI basketball player, that was her goal,” Purple Aces program director Cordero Barkley said. “We met after the high school season to discuss goals with her and her family, and we discussed the work which was required to elevate her game.

“She has been unwavering on the amount of time she has put into her game since then. (Preble coach) Jim Doell has been tremendous in helping her have a great foundation of fundamentals to build on. Carley has been dialed in on improving, and even during this regional and sectional track stretch she has been hunting me down for extra workouts while putting up PRs on the track.”

Her two offers won’t be the last. She is drawing interest from schools in the Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American and Horizon. The Patriot and Ivy leagues also are interested.

Duffney has attended UWGB games growing up and her Preble teammate, forward Kendall Renard, gave a verbal commitment to the Phoenix in November.

As much of a draw as both are, Duffney knows she needs to visit other colleges and explore what they have to offer. She wants to have a complete picture of each, rather than just the basketball side.  

Duffney said it’s unlikely she will commit to a school this summer unless something absolutely clicks. With two prep seasons remaining, she has time.

“She is a high academic, multisport athlete who has prioritized her dream and has earned the opportunity to play at the next level,” Barkley said. “She has a tremendous upside, and it is awesome to see her get rewarded for her work.”

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