'I made it!': Germantown's KK Arnold is excited to suit up for USA U16 Team
GERMANTOWN, WI (CBS 58) - On June 18, Germantown's Kamorea "KK" Arnold became one of just 12 players named to the USA 16-Under national team.
"It feels real, but at the same time it doesn't feel real at the same time," said KK Arnold.
She will be wearing USA gear this summer, looking for success in the FIBA Women's U16 Americas Championship in Santiago, Chile.
"I was yelling like 'I made it!' I was hugging my teammates from USA. I Facetimed my family, a group Facetime. I was sitting there yelling through the phone," said Arnold with a big smile.
This continues a pretty special last six months for KK. In her sophomore season with Germantown she led the Warhawks to their first ever Division I State Championship. She was named an Associated Press, Max Preps and Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Wisconsin. All of this, at just 16 years old.
"I mean just you saying it gives me goosebumps," said Kim Arnold, KK's mother. "I always say all steps are ordered. So, a blessing in itself."
"I'm all in amaze as my family keeps reminding me like 'you did that!' It's all crazy to me how it all came up. I'm just very humbled and blessed," said KK.
Arnold is Kim and Mike, KK's father, youngest of four children. Her mother says she was hearing basketballs before she was even born.
"It's who she is. That passion that she has for basketball in itself. It's something that I say you can't teach that. It is something she's had to have built inside of her. You don't teach that passion that KK has," said Kim.
All of that on court success, leads to a lot of attention. KK is ranked sixth in the ESPN Super 60 rankings for girls in the Class of 2023. She has had unofficial visits with several Division I programs, including Wisconsin and Marquette, and says she has more than 30 offers from schools.
"Yeah, I definitely have a spreadsheet. I have to keep that spreadsheet at home," said Arnold.
Helping her get to the next level are former Marquette standouts Joe Chapman and Travis Diener.
KK is one of the most talented women's players that I've ever been around. I think anyone that's seen her play would say she's one of the most talented players from the state of Wisconsin," said Travis Diener. "Whatever she sets her mind to, I don't think there's anything she can't do."
Diener says his main goal with his workouts is to get any player mentally ready for the next level as much as physically. KK appreciates his input.
"He's been at the NBA stage before so his mindset, helping me get to that mindset, just be mentally prepared for things more to come in my basketball career," said Arnold.
That career is really just getting started.
"Basketball actually means the world to me, I don’t know what I would do without basketball. I'm very thankful for this sport," said Arnold.
Members of the U16 Team will return to Indiana for training camp on Aug. 4. The FIBA Americas Championship is from Aug. 16-22.