Ashley Schneider spent her youth and her college days helping various teams win basketball games. She will spend the rest of her life helping people in medical need.
As good as she was at basketball, the former Nokomis player was even better in the classroom at Illinois Wesleyan University. The daughter of Byron and Patricia Schneider of Nokomis is now a medical student at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale School of Medicine.
"I chose Illinois Wesleyan because of their excellent reputation in athletics and academics," said Schneider. "My education has always been first and foremost in my mind. IWU has an excellent reputation for getting students ready for medical school."
Schneider scored 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 campaign. Besides her 186 points and 117 rebounds, the 5-foot-10 senior forward also had 69 assists, 26 steals and 14 blocked shots. She scored her points by hitting 73-of-174 from the field and 34-of-59 from the free throw line. Of her field goals, six were from beyond the arc. It was the second consecutive year that she averaged over 7.0 points per game, as she averaged 7.7 points per game as a junior. She was selected by her teammates to be a captain both her junior and senior seasons.
"My junior and senior years were great," said Schneider. "It takes time to develop the skills necessary to compete against such talented players and get physically strong enough. By then, I had accomplished that. I felt much more in command of my game and our starting five both years had a very strong connection, and we jelled and played well together."
For her career, she scored 583 points and played in 98 games averaging 17.9 minutes per game. She made 62 starts, pulled down 307 rebounds–an average of 3.1 rebounds per game–123 assists, 83 steals and 33 blocked shots. Schneider nailed 235-of-505 from the floor, hitting 46.5 percent of her career field goals and 103-of-173 from the charity stripe. Of her field goals, ten were three-pointers.
Illinois Wesleyan was wildly successful during her career as they were 83-29 overall and 52-10 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. They made the NCAA Division III playoffs three of the four years. The forward was an all-conference performer in 2018 and helped IWU win two CCIW Regular Season Championships. She also helped them win two CCIW Tournament Titles, which gave them an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
"It is tough to pick a high point, but there were two that will forever stand out in my mind," said Schneider. "Beating Wheaton by one point in the conference championship game this year and senior night at the Shirk Center. It was truly a touching moment that night."
Schneider earned a degree in biology and was also a part of the pre-med program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude. For her work in the classroom, she received numerous honors. She was a member of the IWU dean's list a total of seven times and earned academic all-conference status all four years. She had a perfect 4.0 grade point average during four semesters.
She was named the IWU All-American Titan Award winner as a senior. The Titan award is given to an individual that best demonstrates all the characteristics of a good Titan, such as loyalty, commitment to the program and leadership. The former Redskin turned Titan also earned the Steve Doran Award from the IWU Athletic Department, which is given to a student-athlete who demonstrates excellence in community outreach and service to others. She earned the honor for her volunteer work at BroMenn Medical Center, medical mission trips to Honduras and Panama and other community service events.