Basketball Player Perseveres Through Injury to Achieve Championship


Photo by: Morgan Feltz

Cal Klesmit cries in joy after Neenah wins state championship

Josh Armstrong, Student of Journalism

Cal Klesmit is at a regular AAU tournament that he plays in on most weekends over the summer. Cal jumps to grab a rebound, but when he lands there is a loud POP in his knee. He doesn’t know it now but he has just torn his ACL.

Cal’s surgery goes well and about 3 months later the basketball season is beginning. During the Rockets third game of the season, they suffer a tough loss to Appleton East. This loss is not only tough on the team, but it also weighs heavily on Cal. The team along with Cal knows they have to be better if they want to reach their final goal of playing at the Kohl Center in March.

As the season moves forward, Cal is battling through his rehab and trying to stay motivated.

“My biggest motivation was not doing this again. Training my body and doing the right things so I would not have to suffer this again.”

Next for the Rockets is the playoffs and they are on a roll as they haven’t lost since playing Appleton East. The Rockets storm past regionals and thanks to an Ice Emery game winner in the sectional semifinals they find themselves playing at state. The Rockets win their two games in Madison and become state champions for the first time since 1978.

He reflects on the season and winning a state championship: “The biggest relief I’ve ever felt.”

He recalls the pain and how much work he puts in to get to be in that situation.

“Obviously I would’ve liked to be healthy, but other than that I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.”

He knows that hard work and perseverance is the guide to success.