Lady Wildcats Wolf commits to Miami (OH)

By: 
Seth Kinker
Sports Editor

On Apr. 17, Minster junior guard Ivy Wolf, the program’s fourth 1000-point scorer, verbally committed to Miami of Ohio sending out a tweet at 10:27 a.m. stating, “Future Redhawk. Big thanks to everyone who helped me get to where I am!” 

Competing has always been a way of life for Wolf, raised around sports and competition from the time she was born. 

Wolf was born in the basketball crazed state of Indiana and in a gym not long after as a coaches daughter. 

She was raised in Minster as the youngest of five siblings (at that time), of her four older siblings; brothers Ethan and Eli played collegiate football and are currently in pursuit of professional careers in the NFL, her sister Delaney graduated in 2011 and was a part of the division II national championship basketball team at Ashland and her other sister Demaris was part of the back to back Minster state title winning teams in 2018 and 2019. 

Naturally, everything was a competition growing up down to who could throw a balled-up piece of paper into the trashcan first. So, it’s no surprise competing from a young age lit a fire into the younger Wolf. 

“At a young age that was always kind of a goal of mine,” said Wolf in an over the phone interview about competing at the next level. “I think that started when I was always in the gym.” 

This year, Wolf was one of two returning starters from a team that had won the last two state titles but graduated seven seniors. Wolf led the conference in multiple statistical categories on the way to winning MAC player of the year for the second time in a row while taking on a bigger leadership role. 

“She was not only our leader on the court but one of our vocal leaders,” said Minster girls head coach Mike Wiss. “As a coach when you can get to the point where something needs to be said on the floor and you’re ready to say it but one of the team members stops and says it for you. I’ve always been a believer that the point guard needs to be an extension of the coaches mind, that’s what Ivy is." 

Last summer the offers from schools began to roll in and Wolf attacked her recruitment methodically like she tends to do on a basketball court with her opponent. 

From putting the work in to researching what schools fit her best to sitting down and deciding what was important to her at the next level, Wolf discovered where she wanted to go. 

One of the things that stood out about Miami was another chance to compete. After bringing in a new coaching staff last year, Miami finished with an 11-20 record, but that appealed to Wolf.

“A big reason I chose Miami, they did bring in a new coaching staff last year and didn’t have the best season,” said Wolf in an over the phone interview. “I think it was important for me to go and build a program, make an impact there. I came into Minster and was brought in to an already great team. I didn’t really have to build anything up (in high school). I wanted to challenge myself in that way.” 

“Ultimately, the basketball portion of it was more so ‘I want to be challenged,’” added Logan Allen, head coach of the Dayton Lady Hoopstars, Wolf’s AAU team since the fourth grade. “’I want to be in a situation I’m counted on and can change the trajectory of the program, team or whatever else it might be.’ I think she really feels that with Miami and welcomed the challenge of getting the program and taking the program to the level the staff wants it to go to. She’s just a competitor. The kid loves to compete and be challenged. Put something in front of here and say, ‘hey, can you get this done?’ She’ll do whatever it takes to make that possible.” 

Wolf went to a team camp Miami held a couple of years ago and met with the past staff a few times but nothing ever came to fruition. Then, last summer the new staff began to reach out and a relationship between her and the coaching staff soon formed that led to an offer at the end of last summer.

Allen added that Wolf has always had the complete skill set with the ability to do a little bit of everything. But last spring and summer, she was able to show she could handle the physical rigors of what a college season could look like. 

"She’s already got the mental tools and the physical skills to do so,” said Allen. “Once it became clear what it  would be like physically, she’s a no brainer kid.” 

“She’s not topped out yet,” added Wiss. “She still has room to grow and she knows it and wants to do it. That’s not just in her skills on the floor, I think it also relates to her in the weight room. She’s a junkie in the weight room and made herself a physical player along with a better player.” 

As most of the world has been effected by the pandemic, COVID-19, so has recruiting in sports. Wolf had planned to wait out the spring evaluation period and see if it led to anything else before committing before the summer if she felt good about her choice. 

With much more time on her hands as a result of COVID-19, Wolf had the time to sift through her decision-making process that led her to Miami.

“Once I did,” said Wolf. “It was a weight off my shoulders.”

“She took it all in stride,” said her mom, Shelly, of watching Wolf throughout the recruitment process. “I was impressed with her when I would hear her talking on the phone to coaches. She had a notebook she kept, ‘I need to call this coach, I talked to this coach on this date.’ Names. Numbers. I think she handled it great.” 

Style of play was a big factor in Wolf’s recruitment and although it’s hard to tell with a new coaching staff, Wolf knew the current staff didn’t recruit the players currently in the system. 

“We talked over the phone a lot, broke down film, I just really liked how they use their point guards,” said Wolf. “They put a lot of trust in them and they’ve got to make a lot of decisions in games. I liked that.” 

Wolf has been playing basketball since second grade. Family friend and longtime girls basketball head coach Nann Stechschulte has known Wolf since she was around three years old and told The Community Post you could see even then she was an athletic kid as a kindergartener in gym class. 

Fast forward to high school where Wolf attended team camps and scrimmages with the varsity team before starting her freshman year of school and you’ll find the first “wow” moment where Stechschulte knew Wolf was special. 

“I went ‘wow’ the very first scrimmage,” said Stechschulte. “Honestly I did. It was at Vandalia. First scrimmage as a freshman and just the immediate intensity she brought to the floor. Picking up the point guard where it needed to be (defensively) and dogging them all over the floor. That’s where it starts, the defensive pressure Minster likes to play, starts up front. Her going up there and putting the pressure upfront like that and getting steals. Immediately direction traffic, as a freshman, and you could see the older kids were responding to her.” 

Wolf still has one more year to don the orange and black before heading to Miami but The Community Post asked Wiss and Stechschulte of the legacy Wolf will leave behind. 

“One of our best,” said Wiss. “She’s one of our best not only in skills, points scored and stuff like that. She wants to be the best. She really has that desire to be the best on the floor and the best she can be.” 

“She raised the bar in terms of work ethic and showing what it takes to be successful,” added Stechschulte. “Ivy’s worked hard in terms of raising the bar in terms of how hard you could work and not just when you felt like it. Like right now, she’s in Tipp City, working out in some park with a trainer. She's been driving there 3-4-5 times a week. The kids know how hard she's worked and invested. I think her work ethic is the legacy she’ll leave more than anything. This is what it takes, this is what we do here and I think there’s a lot of younger kids that are going to be aspiring to be just like her.”