Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports Columnists

April 17, 2014

Dennis Chase: Area loses one of its all-time best

Northern Michigan lost one of its all-time best this week.

Kim (Schneider) Monthei, a former All-State basketball player at Elk Rapids, passed away Monday from breast cancer at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. She had just turned 42 on Saturday.

Kim had been diagnosed with breast cancer just over a year ago.

A four-year starter, Kim was the catalyst on some potent Elk Rapids teams, coached by her father, Bob. The Elks were 82-10 during that span, reaching the Class C quarterfinals twice. Kim finished with 1,986 career points, which at the time was second to Leland’s Julie Polakowski.

“She had some great teammates, too,” Bob Schneider said. “One year all five averaged double figures.”

Kim, a fifth-grade teacher at Inland Lakes, spent the last three weeks of her life in the hospital — with two of her high school teammates often at her bedside.

“Those kids were so tight,” Bob said. “We’d get out of basketball practice and eight out of the 10 would be at our house before I got home. They did everything together.”

Kim went on to Aquinas College, where she played basketball for two years before a knee injury ended her playing days. After earning her degree, Kim returned to Elk Rapids, where she helped Bob run his summer program. She planned to substitute teach, starting that fall.

Then fate intervened. Her older sister, Terri, was getting married in September and Kim was her matron of honor. Turns out, the groom’s best man became smitten with Kim.

“He (Scott Monthei) fell in love with her right away,” Bob said.

They eventually married and had three daughters together. Bob still remembers the night when Scott asked for his permission to marry Kim.

“I saw him walk in the gym one night, that’s when I was coaching eighth-graders,” Bob recalled. “He said, ‘I don’t know if this is the right time or not, but would you be OK if I asked your daughter to marry me?’ He was shaking.”

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad