At the December meeting of Purple and Gold, organizers Chuck Van Hecke and Roger Bates had the pleasure of introducing two of Muscatine’s greatest athletes, Special Olympics Hall of Fame inductee Richard “Dick” Vetter and former Muskie and Western Illinois University (WIU) basketball player Emily Wieskamp (née Clemmons).
Earlier in the month, Vetter became a member of the Special Olympics Hall of Fame for his lifetime contributions to the program as both an athlete and ambassador for the organization. As a way to continue celebrating his success, Associate Superintendent Mike McGrory presented Vetter with both a Muskies t-shirt and sweatshirt.
Then, Wieskamp shared her experiences since graduating from Muscatine High School (MHS). For four years, Wieskamp played basketball at WIU. During that time, she found her share of success, going all the way to the NCAA Championship. In her senior year, WIU took a Christmas road trip where they played both Gonzaga and Stanford and beat Stanford at home, one of only eleven teams to do so within the last decade. “I’ll always remember beating Stanford. Being able to say that is special, especially as someone from Muscatine,” she said.
Also of note, Wieskamp did get to play against the Hawkeyes in Carver Hawkeye Arena, an experience she truly enjoyed. “It was just cool,” she recalled. “There were a lot of Muscatine people there.”
Following her graduation with a bachelor’s degree in business, Wieskamp completed her master’s degree in sports management at WIU. She also worked full time as the assistant women’s basketball coach. Now that she and her husband, Matt, have returned to Muscatine, she works on the coaching staff at MHS. A unique experience, Wieskamp values getting to help with one of her favorite coaches, Susan Orvis, and coaching the girls she remembers babysitting in high school, as well as her younger cousin, Grace. “Coach Orvis is a tremendous person, and I am proud to work alongside her as part of the staff for the girl’s team. I get to coach the girls who were . . . at every game when I was growing up.”
Currently, Wiescamp plans to stay in Muscatine while her husband finishes his physician assistant program at Saint Ambrose University in the Quad Cities. Upon his graduation, she hopes to find a position coaching at the college level again. “I’d like to get back into coaching,” she shared. “Anything in the sports industry, I’d be glad to have,” she added.