Rath hits career milestone, scores her 1,000th point

Rath hits career milestone, scores her 1,000th point

Rath hits career milestone, scores her 1,000th point

On Feb. 1, the near-capacity crowd that gathered inside Eatonville High School's Rainier Connect Arena witnessed one of the Eatonville Cruiser girls basketball players achieve a goal she had set nearly 10 years earlier. They watched as Hailey Rath scored her 1,000th career point.

With roughly six seconds on the game clock, Rath drove the lane beating her defender off the dribble, split two other defenders and floated up a left-hander that dropped into the basket. fulfilling that goal she had set in elementary school.

"As I went up for that floater and watched as the ball went into the hoop, I felt all sorts of emotions inside my body,” Rath said. “It was the best feeling ever, hearing everyone cheer loud for it, and hearing everyone chant my name made me feel supported throughout my whole journey.”

Rath has had many coaches and mentors throughout her basketball career.

"I would like to thank Kahla Hall, Bobby Lucht, Vanessa McLendon, Gavin Stanley, Connor Stanley, Stephanie Stanley, Andrew Herres, Dereck Driggs, Mark Swartout and Erik Swartout for helping me become the player I am today,” she said. “I also want to thank my family, friends and teammates for believing in me, pushing me to be my best and being by my side every step of the way."

The journey to 1,000 began nearly 17 years ago at the young age of 1 when Hailey began playing the game she grew to love. With a mini basketball in her hand, she ran around her family's living room shooting baskets on her miniature basketball hoop.

At 4 years old she joined a team in Eatonville through the Eatonville Youth Sports Association. For the next six years, she played on teams with many of her current teammates. During that time she created the dream/goal of scoring 1,000 points in her high school career.

In sixth grade, Rath began playing for the Northwest Magic until her softball coach Gavin Stanley made a travel league basketball team because he saw that he had a team full of multi-sport athletes. Rath played for Viking Elite basketball under Stanley from sixth through eighth grade before becoming a Cruiser.

"Knowing Hailey as a softball player, I knew she thrived when her personality was able to shine through,” Stanley said. “I can't tell you how many times I have called her name out loud in support just to see that smile shine throughout the ball field or gym. I actually do it as a spectator when I get the chance to see her play. Though I had very direct expectations about competitiveness and a focused mindset, I knew Hailey played best when I could see that big smile. There were sometimes I needed to be a coach and help her reset. but she was consistent in her development and became a force for our team. Whether driving with conviction to the rim or draining three-pointers, she made an impact every weekend on our youth team as that left hand improved and improved. We had great success in league play and at the middle school state championships in Spokane. Hailey was always right in the middle of those successes, and I appreciate her more and more as I think back on it. That competitive attitude, that loving, supportive family, that athletic skill set … but most of all that smile. I am so proud of her accomplishments at Eatonville but knew she had it in her from the beginning...”

Rath said she didn't do anything differently going into her record-setting game, where she needed only nine points to meet her goal.

"I was aware of how many points I needed, but it didn't make me overthink the game of basketball,” Rath said. “My game plan remained the same as every other game. I got locked in the moment I entered the gym and got hyped with my teammates like always."

Rath set a school record for points scored in a game with 43 in 2019, during her sophomore season. As of Monday, Rath has scored 1,039 points and counting in her high school career.

Eatonville girls coach Erik Swartout said he is proud of Rath's career milestone.

"I'm super happy and proud of Hailey for not only this accomplishment, but her commitment to consistent improvement in herself on and off the court,” he said. “This is just a testament to the dedication and work she puts in all year round. The fact that she was able to reach 1,000 points during two COVID years is an extremely impressive feat. Including Hailey, there have only been seven people in school history, boys and girls, to reach 1,000 points in their basketball careers. So to be able to watch her compete over the last several years has been special. Hailey is an extremely humble kid, and I've been fortunate to coach her alongside some really amazing young ladies. She'll be the first to tell you she wouldn't have accomplished this without the support and trust from her teammates over the last four years. Hailey is a special athlete with a bright future ahead of her, and I can't wait to see everything that she can accomplish."

Joining Rath in the hitting the 1,000 point milestone in Eatonville High School history are Liz Clark, 1,262 points, Becca Schrimpsher, 1,249, and Sammie Swartout, 1,114 points, and boys Jordan Osborn, 1,453 points, Erik Swartout, 1,359 points, and Mike Schaub, 1,153 points.

Despite Rath's success on the basketball court, her real love is out on the fastpitch field where she has been a four-year starter for the Cruisers. Rath will be attending Western Washington University in the fall to continue her education and fastpitch career with the Vikings.


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