SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Christian senior Lexi Unruh is the third nominee for the KELOLAND Media Group/Sanford Pentagon Player of the Year Award. The Chargers standout averaged more than 23 points per game this season, but her impact on the program goes well beyond the numbers.

Before starting at Sioux Falls Christian, Lexi Unruh’s basketball journey began in her family’s driveway.

“They weren’t easy on me. They weren’t nice to me when I played so I had to learn to defend myself. So when I got on the court, girls would play good defense I was used to it because of the way my brother and Dad would play against me,” Unruh said.

By middle school, her talent was obvious.

“She came in 8th grade. We pulled up 8th graders to play with our “C” team and that didn’t last very long. She kind of dominated in the “C” games and then the JV. So, then pretty soon she was playing on the varsity,” Sioux Falls Christian Head Coach Andrea Begeman said.

Four years later, Unruh leaves as the Chargers’ second all-time leading scorer even after missing nearly her entire junior season because of a torn ACL. An experience that provided invaluable lessons.

“I learned that I have to work for everything that I want. It wasn’t going to be easy. But, if I put the time in, I put the work in, I could do it,” Unruh said.

That work and patience paid dividends in her final season. Unruh would lead the Chargers to their first conference title since 92′ and 3rd ever state tournament appearance. But for all the accomplishments and achievements she’s been part of, it’s her character that shines most.

“She’ll be out here in practice cheering for the “C” team when they make a good play. And, you know, you see that and you know that she just loves to play, she loves the game and she wants what’s best for our team and so that kind of a leader is kind of, you know, irreplaceable. You can’t teach someone to be like that,” Begeman said.

“I’d like to be remembered as someone who was always pushing people to be the best they can be on and off the court. Always trying to be positive but also working really hard,” Unruh said.

Unruh will continue her basketball career next year at Creighton.