The Wisconsin men’s basketball team has had back-to-back successful seasons – two Final Four berths and one National Championship appearance following a massive upset over the nation’s top team, Kentucky.
And when a team reaches success of that nature, it’s not just the players and head coach who get the publicity, but also the parents. And for Badgers’ big man Frank Kaminsky this has been the case.
You’ve seen the camera go to her during games, now it’s time to get to know the big guy’s mom, Mary (Stack) Kaminsky:
1. She Played Volleyball at Northwestern University
While Kaminsky has gotten a lot of attention for being 7-foot tall and a stud on the college hardwood, his mom is not short by any means. In fact, Mary is 6-foot-1.
And like all her children and her husband, Mary was an athlete. She played volleyball for Northwestern University from 1981-84. In 1984, Mary helped lead the Wildcats to a Big Ten Championship and was named to the Second-Team All-Big Ten Team.
Mary still resides in Northwestern’s volleyball program record books for four different single season records. She’s tied for eighth all-time in hitting percentage her senior season. Mary tallied 329 kills, 116 errors, 813 total attacks and a 25.7 hitting percentage.
That same season she notched 71 aces, which ties her for 10th all-time. In 1983, she had 44 solo blocks – putting her fifth all-time, and in 1982 she had 41, which ties her for seventh all-time.
2. She Is Married to Frank Kaminsky Jr.
Mary, 53, is married to Frank Kaminsky Jr., 60. The couple still lives in Lisle, Illinois, which is where they raised their children.
Kaminsky Jr. grew up in the South Side of Chicago where he attended St. Rita’s High School. He, too, was an athlete and played basketball for Lewis University. He is the 7th-leading scorer in school history with 1,521 points, was NAIA Honorable Mention All-American his senior year, the MVP of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference his final two seasons, and was elected to the school’s Hall of Fame in 1992. He then played a little ball professionally in South America before playing for the AAU Marathon Oil team and then coaching women’s basketball at the University of St. Francis.
3. She Has Seven Children
Kaminsky Jr. and Mary have seven children – three together and four stepchildren, according to Wisconsin’s player site.
“Little” Frank is in his senior season at Wisconsin, where he averaged 18.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. He also shot 55.1 percent from the field, 41.2 from behind the arc and is projected to be a first-round 2015 NBA Draft pick.
Daughter, Kaylee is Frank’s older biological sister. And Hannah – Frank’s biological younger sister – is a sophomore at Southern Illinois University where she is a setter on the volleyball team.
The couple’s other four, which are Frank’s step siblings, are daughters Jamie, Gabbie and Grace, and son, Steve.
4. She Works in Special Education at Glenbard West High School
According to her LinkedIn profile, Mary has worked in the special education department at Glenbard West High School for more than 26 years. Glenbard West is a public four-year high school located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which is a western suburb of Chicago.
Prior to that, Mary was an administrative assistant at Dean Witter for two years. She received her BS in Communication Disorders in 1985, and her MS in Special Education from the University of Illinois.
5. Her Brother and Sister Worked for the Chicago Bulls
Like Mary, her siblings, Karen and Jim, were athletes at Northwestern University – both played basketball.
Upon graduating from Northwestern, both Karen, 55,and Jim, 56, entered the sports world on the corporate side. Jim worked as a scout for the Bulls, and Karen worked under Bulls general manager Jerry Krause and his executive assistant, according to The Chicago Tribune.