Summer Notebook: Mia Bergstrom’s Time To Shine; Suburban Notables from Stevenson Summer League

By Kaleb Carter

Mia Bergstrom has some catching up to do, and she knows it. It’s a focal point to get her team moving forward. 

“We’re still kind of young, so I’ve got to lead the (underclassmen) up to what we’ve been doing the last year and the year before,” Bergstrom said. 

A Class of 2024 shooting guard, Bergstrom leads a retooling Saint Viator through the summer months as the Lions make adjustments following the loos of two Division I basketball recruits. Joy Bergstrom (now at South Dakota) and Nora Ahram (UIC) were both guards for a squad that went 20-13 (3-4 in East Suburban Catholic League). 

Three of those losses came to Class 3A state champs Carmel Catholic, another team that the Lions saw in competetion at the summer league at Stevenson High School.

Coach Jason Raymond said he expects continued growth from Bergstrom.

“It’s the first time really for her playing without her sister, she played AAU with her sister her whole life, the last two years at Saint Viator she played with her sister, so this is the first time she’s stepped out on her own,” Raymond said “So she’s trying to adapt to that new role as being the No. 1 scoring option for her team whereas before, with her AAU team, and even with us, she’s probably either the three number or four scoring option for us in years’ past. It’s a little bit of an adjustment for her, but it’s not going to take long for her to figure it out with her skill-set.”

While the No. 1 option for Saint Viator, she is more flexible in what she provides travel team Wolverinas, where she can be a 3-point specialist or all-around scorer wherever needed. 

This summer, Bergstrom has began to hear from a flurry of college coaches, picking up offers from Division I programs Murray State, St. Thomas, Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, UIC, Omaha, Valparaiso and most recently Saint Louis. She was offered by Bradley before her sophomore season even began. 

“It’s very exciting,” Bergstrom said. “I appreciate them reaching out and giving me offers, but we’ll see how this year goes, this summer.”

Bergstrom and Class of 2025 guard Allia Von schlegell will lead the backcourt while the Lions look for emerging skills from a relatively young group across the roster. 

“We’ve got a lot of good offensive players so, we’ve got to gel on defense and if we get that done, we’ll be tough,” Bergstrom said.

Other Notes From Teams at Stevenson’s Summer League

Stevenson’s young guards showed potential, but the frontcourt of highly-recruited Emory Klatt (2024)  and Kate Arne (Class of 2023) showed that they’ll provide the firepower needed to make the Patriots one of the state’s best again as they defend a 4A title. 

Reigning 3A champs Carmel Catholic was the best looking team overall in the two days of games I watched on June 16 and June 23. The Corsairs finished the summer league with a convincing win over Stevenson. Michigan State commit Jordan Wood (Class of 2024) has added to and improved her arsenal and a more confident Mia Gillis (2024) will pick up much of the slack lost by Bucknell recruit Grace Sullivan. 

Libertyville has the potential to launch itself into the upper echelon of the state’s teams this season. Maryland commit Emily Fisher (2023) leads the way, while burgeoning talent (see 6-0 forward Talya Tillman, 2025) is beginning to open eyes for the Wildcats. The Rule sister’s (Kate and Rachel, Class of 2024) are improved shooters this offseason too.

Sophie Swanson was rolling through the league, but coach Babbi Barreiro clearly had a plan of testing her less experienced players in the tough summer league, as young Fillies are getting their chance to grow and make mistakes. All that said, don’t be surprised if Swanson, the reigning Illinois-Basketball Girls 4A Player of The Year erupts for a 50-burger and a handful of 40-point barrages this year. She’s even more of a versatile scorer now from the looks of things. With DI offers in-tow, Molly O’Riordan (2024) should be a big riser in the frontcourt for the Fillies. 

Deerfield is still up to its entertaining ways this summer with the Kerndt and Kerstein sisters. Meanwhile, the recruitment of guard Aubrey Galvan (2025), who played a big role on Deerfield’s third-place state soccer finish, is picking up. Galvan recently secured offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and SIUE. 

Hersey looked predicably good, and should be battling Barrington for Mid Suburban League supremacy this season. Some new faces will be asked to take bigger roles, while some like Natalie Alesia (2024 guard) and Annika Manthy (6-3 2024 forward) should factor in a great deal to the team’s success. 

Other standouts I saw included sharp-shooting guard Kate Saccaro (New Trier, 2024), Rachel Kaus (Lake Forest, 2023). Kaus recently picked up an offer from Cornell. Never did get to see Prospect at the league. Warren and Vernon Hills showed some intriguing flashes I may follow up on in the coming season. 

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