Cass' Hlebasko signs to golf at IUK

Mar. 15—After a breakout senior season at Lewis Cass, Kendall Hlebasko is set to continue her golf career at IUK.

Hlebasko signed with the Indiana University Kokomo women's golf program earlier this year. She's looking to continue to improve her game at the next level.

"I'm very excited to meet new golfers and play at the college level," she said. "We are playing at Wildcat, so I'm very excited about that. They have undergone improvements and have Topgolf there now which is really nice. I really like the coach as well."

Hlebasko, the daughter of Mike Hlebasko and Jo McQuinn of Walton, said she grew up around the game.

"I've been around golf since I was a baby," she said. "I didn't really start getting into it on my own until about sixth grade when they allowed sixth graders to be on the junior high team. That got me started and then playing with my friends made me fall in love with it more."

Hlebasko continued to improve throughout her high school career. It culminated this season when she was the first Lewis Cass athlete to earn All-Three Rivers Conference honors in the Kings' new conference.

She just missed qualifying for the Lafayette Jeff Regional when she lost to Kokomo's Brileigh Quillen-Popejoy in a playoff at the Western Sectional.

It was a senior season that saw Hlebasko shoot 40 multiple times in nine-hole matches. She said she usually shoots in the upper 80s for 18 holes.

Her jobs outside of school have helped lead her to the IUK women's golf team. She has worked at Logansport Golf Club and plans to work there again this summer.

She said said her love of golf has continued to grow.

"I really got into it my junior year and then that summer leading into my senior year I was very excited about golf," she said. "I'm not sure what changed in my mind but something did because I really started to enjoy it and I wanted to get better and I wanted to learn new things. Mike Gray, who owned Logansport Golf Club, he definitely piqued my interest in it. And my friends made it — because we weren't going to have enough to have a team. And my new coach, Ms. Densborn, and my friend Lindsay [Landis], both put together a team and it was a really great season honestly. Ms. Densborn made it so fun."

Hlebasko wasn't necessarily planning on playing college golf but a conversation with a coworker at Target helped get the process started, she added.

"He golfs at IUK and he had mentioned something about that he would give my info to the coach. Then I also sent an email saying I'm deciding between two colleges and I was wondering if you would be interested in having me as a golfer. And it kind of just went from there," she said.

"It is kind of a small world."

Hlebasko, who plans to major in radiology at IUK, was also considering IU Fort Wayne. She said the opportunity to golf at IUK made it "a very easy choice."

"My friends definitely made that possible," she added.