This past May, the Michigan women’s basketball team landed a major transfer portal prospect from Oregon State — sophomore guard Greta Kampschroeder. Kampschroeder, the 32nd-ranked ESPNW prospect out of high school, became the program’s first McDonald’s All-American.
But, in her freshman year at Oregon State, she didn’t see immediate success — averaging only mediocre numbers despite starting all but six games. Following that season, Kampschroeder made the decision to transfer to Michigan, looking for a program that embodied the hard work ethic she prides herself on.
Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico boasts her program as the “hardest-working team in America,” year-in and year-out. And so far, Kampschroeder has fit right into that dynamic.
“I ran back on Sunday night to get something from the office at 10 o’clock at night and I looked out the window and there’s Greta in the gym getting up shots,” Barnes Arico said. “(She is) working nonstop, not complaining, never hanging her head, never negative. It’s just bringing another positive energy to our team, so she’s a phenomenal addition.”
After not having the freshman year she wanted, Kampschroeder is doing everything within her control to change that.
“She’s always in the gym,” sophomore guard Laila Phelia said at Big Ten Media Days on Oct. 12. “She fits what we do and we work hard and we put in extra work, and I feel like she just goes right into that because I always see her getting that extra work in.”
Joining a new program involves learning offensive and defensive schemes. But on top of that, Kampschroeder has to adjust to playing point guard this season.
“Her transition to the point guard role has been a lot different from what she’s ever been asked to do before,” fifth-year guard Leigha Brown said at Big Ten Media Days. “But I think so far she’s really picked up on that and obviously that’s going to continue with the chemistry the more we play together.”
Before Michigan, Kampschroeder played off-guard and was known for her versatility, unselfish play, basketball IQ and scoring — both off the dribble and from beyond the arc. At point guard, she will have to work to build upon that unselfish play and become the floor general of the offense.
Kampschroeder will be filling the shoes of Amy Dilk and Danielle Rauch in the point guard role. They weren’t major scoring threats, but were key contributors on the defensive end and kickstarted Michigan’s transition offense.
The Wolverines lost more than just what shows up in the box score with the departure of Dilk and Rauch. In addition to fiery leadership, Michigan will miss Rauch’s ability to draw charges at key moments. In close games last year — when Rauch or fifth-year forward Emily Kiser would take a charge — it changed the momentum of the game. That’s something Kampschroeder will be challenged to do, especially as the Wolverines look to compete at a high level again this year.
“I think (Greta) wanted to be pushed and to be challenged and to compete against some of the great, tough players in our program,” Barnes Arico said. “And I challenge her every day. You know, ‘you gotta play on the defensive end,’ and ‘how times you’re gonna get on the floor and can you take a charge,’ and all these different things that sometimes kids are unaccustomed to, she’s really bought into, so she’s been a wonderful addition.”
Kampschroeder’s buy-in to the Michigan culture of hard work and grit has helped her fit into the program so far, meshing well with her teammates.
“(Greta) is a great scorer, high IQ player, can run all day,” Barnes Arico said. “I think she’s going to be able to play multiple positions for us, anywhere from point guard all the way through the four.”
Kampschroeder’s versatility is a huge plus for Michigan as it looks to stretch their offense beyond the arc this season. Her 3-point shooting ability, court vision and basketball IQ have all been admired by scouts when she was in high school, and now by her teammates and Barnes Arico.
Now, all that’s left is to see how her hard work and success in practice translates to games.