Karlee Nimmer was the 2011 National American Miss Wisconsin Jr. Teen. By first glance, this 6 foot tall, star basketball player is not what you would think of as a typical "pageant girl." But, then again, that's what NAM is all about. Re-defining pageantry and that ALL girls are crown worthy!
Karlee Nimmer is involved in a lot of things. (Karlee featured far left consoles the opposing team after defeating them in a game this season)
From representing Wisconsin at a National American Miss pageant in Hollywood to learning how to fly a small plane, the Kewaunee senior has taken part in a wide range of activities.
But the simple act of signing up for basketball in third grade is the one that turned out to be a life-shaping experience for her.
"This is my really close-knit group of friends," Nimmer said of her teammates. "Of course, I'm good friends with other people. But without doing basketball in third grade … I don't know who my really close friends would be. Basketball was the thing that brought us together because I didn't know those girls outside of basketball."
Nimmer, one of five seniors on the Storm squad, has become known to opposing coaches as a versatile and rangy player, who at 6 feet, plays the role of a matchup nightmare.
"She brings a lot of life to the court," Kewaunee coach Lynn Geier said.
"She really gives us a great presence coming off the bench. On a lot of conference teams, Karlee would be starting, but we just have a very talented and deep squad these last couple of years."
Geier pointed to the 14 second-half points Nimmer scored in the Storm's rally from an 18-point deficit during a win at Southern Door on Dec. 6 as a prime example of how her enthusiasm spreads throughout the team.
"She really has a way of getting the team pumped up, whether she's on the bench or on the floor. She's just full of fun. That's why she's involved in so many things."
In addition to being a three-sport athlete, Nimmer has competed and won various awards at the state and national level for performances in FBLA, FFA, solo ensemble, musical theatre, choir, forensics and pageants.
Nimmer hopes the packed schedule she is undertaking now, which sometimes causes her to miss a basketball practice, will one day help her achieve a dream of becoming an entertainment reporter.
"Basketball in itself is a huge commitment, and for me to go out and do all those other activities, that's a blessing to have coaches and teammates who let me do that," Nimmer said. "It's really nice that they're flexible and willing to work with me."
Geier added, "She's very successful in a lot of things that she does. That's going to carry through with her after she graduates."
Before studying business and communication at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Nimmer, whose grandfather owns the landing strip in Rio Creek, hopes to obtain her sport pilot's license.
That seems like the fitting thing to do since her team has already taken Kewaunee girls athletics to new heights.
"That's what our ultimate goal was when we were just starting out as third-graders," Nimmer said. "I think we've made our mark."