Kiser accepts any and all roles for the Vikings

LEAVITTSBURG – One of LaBrae’s senior leaders doesn’t have a preference on how you address her.

It’s either Madison or Maddie.

She also doesn’t care where she plays on the floor. At just 5-foot-4, Maddie Kiser isn’t the prototypical post player, but she’s accepted her role and flourished in the position.

“She really has,” said Vikings girls basketball coach Lisa Aldridge. “Last year, I had Ashlee Stubbs. Maddie was second to her underneath. This year, she has stepped up and played that spot very well. I’m very proud of her.”

Though she’s often towered over by opposing players under the basket, Kiser holds her own and fights through the size mismatches.

“I’m obviously not the tallest person on the team, but I’m pretty strong,” Kiser said. “I do work hard and make a lot of post moves that I practice on.”

She wasn’t even surprised when Aldridge asked her to be the Vikings’ inside presence.

“I wasn’t really shocked because knew I was probably going to have to do it,” Kiser said. “We don’t have a lot of size and the girls who do have height on our team shoot the ball really well so they have to play outside.”

In her senior season, Kiser is averaging a team-high 15.6 points per game to go with a 53.2-shooting percentage. She has grabbed 107 rebounds in 19 games, so far, an average of 5.6 per contest.

“Since I’ve asked her to play inside as a post she has never questioned me or anything like that,” Aldridge said. “She’s really played hard for me. For as small as she is, she’s done very well inside. She’s developed some moves inside that some girls don’t do.

“It’s been very successful for her this year.”

Kiser can also handle the ball better than most of her posting peers. Though she hasn’t attempted many 3-pointers, this year, she isn’t afraid to look for action on the wings.

“I drive a lot,” she said. “A lot of times if I get the ball outside I’ll just drive in and try to draw a foul so then I can shoot free throws.”

Her father, Brian, is an assistant on the LaBrae boys basketball team. His brother, Chad, is the head coach. Growing up, Maddie would spend a lot of time with Chad’s daughter, Mackenzie. As the two grew older, Mackenzie attended Champion, while Maddie played for the Vikings.

Mackenzie, a 2013 high school graduate, notched her 1,000 point in a game against Campbell in January of last year.

“We’re extremely close and it was fun playing against her,” Maddie said. “It helped me become a better player just watching her.”

As her prep career winds down, Kiser plans to make the most of the few remaining games.

“I don’t really want it to end at all,” she said. “Just being with my teammates and just playing – I’m going to miss it. I’m not going to have anything to do next year.”

Though she hasn’t made any definitive plans yet, Kiser anticipates attending a Kent State branch campus to study radiology.

“She’s a great kid,” Aldridge said. “She’s worked really hard in everything she does. Any awards or accomplishments that she gets, she’s deserving of because she’s earned them.”