The “Iowa State Way” is a slogan loudly spoken by women’s basketball head coach Bill Fennelly on a regular basis.
There are a lot of meanings to it stretching from the way the team practices and approaches each day to setting an example of the family atmosphere that so strongly resides in Ames.
There might not be a recruit Iowa State has ever had that understands what it means as much as incoming guard Kylie Feuerbach.
“The main (reason I chose Iowa State) was the family history,” Feuerbach said. “I’m really familiar with it. But, also knowing the (reputation) that Iowa State has, Coach Fennelly, the atmosphere… there’s a lot of things I like about it and I couldn’t think of a negative.”
A majority of the Feuerbach family went to and graduated from Iowa State including her parents and more recently, her older brother.
Not to mention her grandpa, Orlyn Gene Feuerbach, who played for the men’s basketball team from 1943-1945.
He was a member of the team that went to Iowa State’s only Final Four in school history.
Kylie basically has cardinal and gold in her blood, and she has the work ethic that represents her ESPN top-100 ranking.
While playing high school basketball in Sycamore, Illinois Feuerbach was making a name for herself averaging 20.5 points per game, setting numerous school records and earning first-team all-conference honors in each of the past three seasons.
At the same time, Feuerbach was traveling to central Iowa, weekly, to play AAU basketball for All-Iowa Attack – a nationally known program.
The drive to practice took four and a half hours.
“I was one of the few people that came from out of the state,” Feuerbach said. “I tried to go to (the weekend practices) every single weekend. One of my parents would drive and I would sleep half the time, so it went by a little faster for me.”
One of her teammates made a two-hour trip to make it to practice for the team on the weekends, that being current Cyclone Ashley Joens’ younger sister Aubrey, who will also join the Cyclone women this fall.
The two have grown close over the past two seasons as teammates and have contributed to a pair of successful Attack teams.
“It definitely helps a ton,” Feuerbach said. “Having Aubrey as a teammate for the past two years has been great. I’m already really close to her.”
The pair helped the Attack qualify for back-to-back Nike EYBL national championship games, winning one in 2018 and finishing as the runner-up the following year.
Feuerbach hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the team’s championship.
“In the moment, I didn’t really process the whole situation, so when I look back at it, it’s a way bigger deal than what it felt like in that moment,” Feuerbach said. “I just felt like I was playing another game. The play that Coach Dickson (Jensen) drew up was amazing.”
The play was made a bit bigger, though, when Feuerbach looked up after hitting the shot.
NBA superstar Kevin Durant had been in the stands watching the game.
“I guess I just ended up getting the ball, got it into the basket, and Kevin Durant was there,” Feuerbach said. “I’m grateful that I made it.”
That’s as cold-blooded of a shot that someone could hit prior to the collegiate ranks.
Feuerbach hopes to continue the success with Joens and the rest of the members of the Cyclones’ highly-touted recruiting class, who have all grown familiar with each other over the AAU circuit.
They’ll come in as the highest-ranked class in school history and could potentially launch a new era of Iowa State women’s basketball.
But, they won’t take that for granted – that’s the Iowa State Way.
“I mean, obviously, once you get into college and Division I it’s a completely different world, but having that in our back pocket definitely helps with chemistry and confidence,” Feuerbach said. “It’s pretty cool hearing that, though.”