While former Western Big 6 Conference girls' basketball player Ruth (Kipping) Boden had no idea who Brea Beal was or that she was closing in on her scoring record, Joey Range knows all-too-well who Beal is.
Beal enters tonight's game against Galesburg at Rock Island High School 31 points shy of tying Range's all-time WB6 scoring mark of 2,390 points.
Range will be in the stands this evening.
Range will be there to watch and root for his daughter, Galesburg senior Daija Range, and the Silver Streaks. However, some of him will be happy to see Beal break his record, if it happens.
"I never really thought about someone breaking my record until recently when someone told me she was close," Range said. "I think it is awesome. Sure, I'd love to have it stay in Galesburg, but it will be in the Quad-Cites. I am glad my daughter got to play against her all these years. She is a tremendous player."
Range has enjoyed having the record but again, he didn't know until after his high school career ended that he had the mark. He was never about the numbers, just the wins.
"I had 55 in a game to set a record and I walked out of the gym and thought I had maybe 27 points," he said. "My brother told me it was a record.
"You have to remember, when I played there was no Facebook or Twitter, so no one kept up with stats that way. No one talked about chasing records."
Range has known for a long time that Beal was a special athlete. He has seen her play since she was in junior high and playing against Daija.
"I can remember when she was in seventh grade and I had to miss Daija's game (against Edison)," Range said. "My wife came home and said 'You have to see this girl play. She is amazing.' My wife was never a huge basketball fan, so I didn't think much of it. I thought she might be OK.
"Then, I saw her play and I knew she was special. What I like about her game is she plays so effortlessly. She plays so hard, but it looks like she isn't working at all. It looks like I felt when I played. It just comes easy to some kids. I watch her and I see a player who is thinking before you are even moving."
Like Beal, Range said he played the game knowing all eyes were on him — including the officials. He knows the heartache of teams being more physical against a standout player.
He also knows how sometimes those special athletes get called for fouls that came on plays that look like they can't be done, but they do it.
"Definitely, I got the same treatment as I have heard happen to Brea. I had every defense you can imagine and played in plenty of poorly officiated games. You get bumped and grabbed and nothing is called. You just have to rise above it.
"What I learned after I graduated from Galesburg is the opponents were just doing everything they could to stop me. Brea will look back and say 'Wow, that was a great thing that everyone had my attention every game.' That's pretty cool."
It is pretty cool that Range is handling the end of his record just the way he played — like a superstar.