Daily Chronicle 2024 Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Sycamore’s Lexi Carlsen

NIU-bound guard near top of Spartans record book across the board

Sycamore's Lexi Carlsen defends St. Francis' Riley Austin during their game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2023, at Sycamore High School.

Lexi Carlsen didn’t want to finish her career in the top 5 in Sycamore history in just scoring or just assists.

She ended up top 5 in pretty much everything.

The Sycamore guard is near the top of the program’s record books in points, rebounds, assists and steals. For her accomplishments, Carlsen has been named the 2024 Daily Chronicle Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

“They show I’m more than just a scorer or more than just a passer,” Carlsen said. “I’m really one of those all-around players you don’t see every day, and I really pride myself on that. I try to do all the little things and try to do them to the best of my ability, and it was nice to be rewarded for those things.”

“I try to do all the little things and try to do them to the best of my ability, and it was nice to be rewarded for those things.”

—  Lexi Carlsen, the 2024 Daily Chronicle Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Carlsen averaged 14.6 points, 5.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game this year, leading the team in all four categories. She also shot 37.6% on 3-pointers. She was selected to the Illinois Media All-State first team and was a second-team selection by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

The Spartans reached the Class 3A Sycamore Sectional semifinal, losing to rival Kaneland. They reached at least the sectional round each year of Carlsen’s career in which a state series was held.

“This year, looking back on it now that I’ve had some time, is something I’m beyond proud of as far what this team was able to accomplish,” Carlsen said. “Our postseason run ended a little earlier than we had hoped, but there was so much to be thankful for and so much to be proud of this season.”

Not only did she surpass the 1,000-point mark, but she set the single-season career assists record in what turned out to be her last game against the Knights.

“I think it was kind of the culmination of all the work she’s put in over these past four years, even before that,” coach Adam Wickness said. “I was really happy to see her reach some of the milestones I know she was chasing down. ...

“She’s one of those kids that just impacts the game on so many levels.”

Wickness said Carlsen is the smartest player he’s coached at the high school level.

“You see every once in a while a kid that plays with such a high motor,” Wickness said. “There were so many times this year you’d see her push through that wall. Most kids, you hit fatigue and you’re, ‘Ugh, I’m done.’ Lexi hits fatigue, and she kicks it into the next gear. You saw her do that multiple times, and that’s when she took over games.”

Carlsen now starts the next phase of her game, literally and figuratively close to home. She’ll head to Northern Illinois University to play for coach Lisa Carlsen, her mother.

She’s also talked to her brothers, who have played collegiate athletics themselves, for advice and pointers. She said it’s a lot to take in, but she’s looking forward to the next chapter.

“June can’t come soon enough,” Carlsen said. “I’m trying to enjoy my last couple months of high school, ’cause it’s all going to go by really really fast, I know that, but I’m overly excited to get out there, get to DeKalb and start a new chapter in my life.”

Have a Question about this article?