Just kind of a dream come true to be honest,” said Lenee Beaumont, former guard for Benet Academy girls basketball. This Feature Story is sponsored by Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Lenee Beaumont joins Kathleen Doyle as Ms. Basketball of Illinois winners
Seven years ago, Kathleen Doyle won Ms. Basketball of Illinois after leading Benet Academy girls basketball to back-to-back state titles. Now, Lenee Beaumont joins her idol as the second winner of the award for the Redwings and the third girl ever from our area schools. The senior also helped Benet to back-to-back state appearances, including a runner-up finish this season while also receiving a first team All-State selection. Back in March, she took home 2023 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year as well. She also joins Candace Parker as the lone local athlete to win both awards.
Lenee got the chance to meet Kathleen at practice during the season and after Lenee won Ms. Illinois Basketball, Kathleen gave her a call to congratulate her. She couldn’t be more thrilled to win the prestigious award just like her idol.
“If little Lenee were to think, ‘Oh yeah, your senior year, you’re going to win Ms. Basketball’, she would’ve been like, ‘You’re lying to me.’ She would have never believed it. To be considered along with those great names. They’re all big time players. They played well at the next level as well. So just growing up watching Kathleen Doyle win it. It’s awesome,” said Beaumont.
Head coach Joe Kilbride was the one who broke the news to Lenee when she won the award.
“Coach Kilbride came to my house. I wasn’t expecting him to be there so when he rang the doorbell I was a little confused, honestly. And then he basically told me I won Ms. Basketball and I had no words. I was kind of speechless,” said Beaumont.
Lenee’s impact on the game of basketball
Her accomplishments are a culmination of all the hard work she has put in on the court as well as how far she has come since being a freshman on varsity back in the fall of 2019. Not only has she made a huge impact on the hardwood, but also on her teammates and coaches.
“She’s just such a good person. Lenee’s a great human being and she’s always been an incredibly talented player, but also very humble at the same time. Great teammate,” said Joe Kilbride, head coach of Benet Academy girls basketball.
Kilbride has coached both Lenee and Kathleen and he sees similarities between the two.
“The thing about her and Kathleen both is they were always about winning. They weren’t hunting points. They were never hunting stats. They were always hunting wins for the program and elevating the program,” said Kilbride.
“As a teammate, Lenee is the least selfish person you will ever meet. She was constantly looking for us to get the ball to. Just giving up game-winning shots because she wanted her teammates to have the chance to make the shot and that also translates to her as a person. She never puts herself first. She’s always so concerned about other people and she’s just always so caring,” said Kelly Getz, former guard for Benet Academy girls basketball and close friend of Lenee.
Lenee heading to Indiana University in the fall
Now with her high school career coming to a close, Lenee will be off to Bloomington in the fall where she will be dressed in red and white again, but this time for the Indiana Hoosiers. She is pumped to play for an elite program in the Big Ten.
“Can’t wait to get on campus, I guess. Get to work, get to work with the coaches. I’ve already built pretty good relationships with most of my teammates, but I get to play with them, learn how they play. I’ll be on the same court as Caitlin Clark, which is just crazy. Even though I played her my freshman year, I’ll continue to play her. I’ll get to see some Benet teammates as well in the Big Ten so I’m pretty excited,” said Beaumont.
After her icon made her mark on the program years ago, Lenee Beaumont built a legendary career of her own and her name will never be forgotten at Benet Academy.