Bildodeau

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser senior Kyle Bildodeau, No. 33, was recently selected to play for the North Team in the Division 4 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game in Wisconsin Dells on June 20. In his amazing four-year career for the Bulldogs, Bilodeau compiled 998 points, 666 rebounds, 104 assists, 77 blocks and 61 steals. 

One more game; that’s what Kyle Bilodeau is focused on.

Last week, the six-foot, six-inch senior was selected to play in the 2020 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All Star Game in Wisconsin Dells on June 20. Bilodeau is one of 23 seniors that were invited to play for the North Team in the Division 4 WBCA All-Star Game, where he will compete with the D4 Red Team in the Red versus White game.

“It feels awesome ... It’s rewarding,” Bilodeau stated when asked how it felt when he was notified he’d be playing with the top talent in the state at the annual all-star weekend in the Dells. “I put in a lot of hard work, literally hundreds of hours in the weight room and gym from middle school on. And, it paid it off.”

Bilodeau noted that he is familiar with a handful of the players who will join him in the all-star game.

“I know a few of the guys and I’ve played against a lot of these guys in AAU basketball over the past six years. I’ve been to basketball camps with them, especially at the Wisconsin Yearbook Exposure Camp at Viterbo College, so it will be a lot of fun to talk with them and play basketball with them one last time,” Bilodeau added. “I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous to play, since I’ve never played in a game like this. But, at the same time, it’s still basketball and still a lot of fun.”

The accolade comes on the heels of an impressive four-year high school basketball career for Bilodeau, which came to an end with a two-point loss to Spring Valley on March 6. Bilodeau was also chosen to play in the 2020 Border Battle—an all-star game hosted by the Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association that features Minnesota all-stars against Wisconsin all-stars—but the annual event, which was scheduled for late March, was canceled due to health concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus.

“Being selected to the WBCA All-Star Game is just another filter to gauge a senior’s final year or entire career as a whole. The WBCA event is second to none. It’s more than just a game, because the association uses the game to help raise funds for the MACC (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) Fund,” stated C-W head coach Hans Olson.

Coach Olson was referring to the fact that all players and coaches selected to the WBCA All-Star Game are asked to raise funds through donations for the MACC Fund. Last year’s games raised $126,000, while the WBCA has contributed $2.2 million to the MAAC Fund since 1978.

In his four-year career, Bilodeau finished just two points shy of the 1,000 career point total with 998 points. He also pulled down a total of 666 rebounds in his 86-game career. He tallied 104 assists, 77 blocks and 61 steals, as well.

Bilodeau, who has been the Bulldogs’ big man in the middle the past four seasons, earned first-team all-conference honors after leading C-W in scoring, rebounding and blocks this season—he also earned second-team all-conference honors as a sophomore and as a junior. He led the Bulldogs to a 13-11 record (8-8 in conference play). Bilodeau finished his senior campaign with a team-high 358 points and averaged 14.9 points per game. He scored double figures in 21 out of C-W’s 24 games and posted 13 double-doubles this year—finishing the season averaging 10.2 rebounds per game. He also led the Bulldogs in blocks this year and was second on the team in assists at 2.1 per game (50 total).

“Playing the game is like breathing for Kyle. Lots of kids enjoy playing the game and even love the game. But for a few, its like breathing; only a select few can truly understand what that means. Even when he was playing through his injuries, he still found joy in playing,” Olson explained. “Kyle started as a strong, gangly kid who had temper flare ups from time to time, into a mature young man, who is about serving others. What separates Kyle, is what he did away from the opportunities we already offer to every player.  He always kept working on his game, playing AAU, lifting and asking me to open up the gym. Kyle had a process and stuck to it.  Lots of people talk, but he’s on of the few who truly invested.”

When asking Bilodeau about his C-W career, his accolades, awards and statistics, he didn’t hesitate when asked what his proudest moment was while wearing the purple, white and orange jersey.

“Making the team and eventually starting my freshman year. That was always a big goal of mine,” Bilodeau said. “Another great memory that stands out is beating Bloomer, Cameron and Ladysmith this past season; that was a fun stretch.”

“Kyle’s greatest strength in hoops is his heart. I never had to question if he was ready to go; I actually had to hold him back many times from doing more damage to his body,” coach Olson said somewhat jokingly. “Whenever he’d be playing, and he’d get whacked across the face and his glasses would fall off or go sideways, we’d start joking on the bench, ‘uh-oh, glasses are off, get ready for something,’ and Kyle always-always made a play.”

“The career rebounding stat is the most impressive statistic, because that’s one rebound at a time. I think its ironic and somewhat fitting he landed at 998 for points. I truly feel bad that he didn’t hit that milestone to be mentioned with the great scorers in school history, but he never needed that number to validate him as a player and human being. The number looks a little unfinished to me, and that seems fitting because I don’t believe Kyle will ever be finished with the game of basketball,” Olson added.

Olson is likely correct there, considering Bilodeau is committed to play basketball and attend college this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He is already receiving specific weight room workouts and gym workouts from the UW-Superior coach in order to prepare for next year.

“Although it hurt losing our last high school game, it was a little relieving knowing that I am continuing my basketball career and it isn’t completely over. It gives me a reason to keep doing what I love and will keep me in shape,” Bilodeau stated.

However, he also discussed the difficulty of moving on from high school basketball without some of his best friends he’s played with for a decade or more.

“I’m going to miss playing with my buddies every day and just competing against one another. There will always be a hole in my heart that I can no longer compete with them, step on the C-W floor and play in front of all of the people who have encouraged and supported me over the years,” Bilodeau said.

He added that some of his fondest memories are the summer basketball tournaments, weekly practices, game days and spending time outside of the gym with his fellow seniors, teammates and coaches.

“Kyle played for the love of the game and always put the team first. He is just a blessing to be around,” coach Olson concluded.

It’s a given that most of Bilodeau’s supporting cast will be cheering him on at the WBCA All-Star Game in June and as he begins his new journey to collegiate basketball and a career.

Below is the schedule for the WBCA All-Star Game weekend:

Girls’ all-star games on Friday, June 19

• Divison 5—9 a.m.

• Divison 4—10:45 a.m.

• Divison 3—12:30 p.m.

• Divison 2—2:15 p.m.

• Divison 1—4:00 p.m.

Boys’ all-star games on saturday, june 20

• Divison 5—9 a.m.

• Divison 4—10:45 a.m.

• Divison 3—12:30 p.m.

• Divison 2—2:15 p.m.

• Divison 1—4:00 p.m.

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